WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,
Richmond, Va., February 16, 1863.
Honorable R. W. JOHNSON, C. S. Senate:
SIR: I have just received your note.* I owe an apology to you and the other members of Congress from Arkansas for not having sooner answered the letter to the President, which he has referred to me for reply. My engagements of each day have really been so pressing that I have not been able yet to give it a deliberate and full response. Meantime I take pleasure in assuring you that General E. K. Smith has been assigned to the command of the Trans-Mississippi Department, and by this time, I hope, is there, and that General Hindman has been withdrawn from command in Arkansas, having been assigned to a court of inquiry sitting out of the State.
Orders have been given by which I think General Price will certainly, and soon, go with his Missouri troops across the river. It will be just as soon as the safety of Vicksburg and the command there will allow.
Most truly, yours,
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Little Rock, Ark., February 16, 1863.
General J. S. MARMADUKE,
DEAR GENERAL: Thanks for your letter. Is it possible to raise your present organization to the required strength? You plan is a bold one, though I think you miscalculated the status of the Missouri people. I fear and believe they are thoroughly cowed, and now occupy that unenviable position that nothing short of an overwhelming force would induce them to raise a hand against their oppressors. However, work as hard as you can, and strengthen yourself as much as possible, with a certainty that pour your spirit of enterprise into willing ears, and that I will, if it be within the range of possibility, carry out your plans.
Please inform me where Blunt's and Schofield's and the other Federal forces are.
Yours, very truly,
TH. H. HOLMES,
Fort Smith, Ark., February 17, 1863.
General D. H. COOPER:
GENERAL: Your communication of the 15th instant* has been considered by the commanding general. I am directed to say, in answer, that Lane's regiment is so scattered and depleted in numbers that it is not deemed advisable to take any steps in the matter suggested at this time. It can best be determined what may be best done when it is known whether the ranks of the regiment are again filled or not. You are at liberty to organize the companies of Scanland, Marshall, and Gillett into a battalion, and, if practicable, organize a regiment of the Reserve Indians. In taking into service the Reserve Indians, you will be careful to make no pledges the fulfillment of which may be involved in any