War of the Rebellion: Serial 033 Page 0856 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXXIV.

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Immediately on the arrival of Walker, finding him too late for Banks, I ordered him, with General Taylor, by New River and the Tensas, to New Carthage. They embarked on Catahoula Lake the 29th of last month, and should have reached their destination the 1st or 2nd instant. General Holmes telegraphed me to know if the operations here would militate against his sending Price to Northeastern Arkansas. I replied "Not if any good were to be gained." Helena is the point looked to; it is the strategic point in that section, and, if a favorable opportunity offers for securing its possession, it should be improved. I hope, however, no attempt will be made by General H. [Holmes] without first obtaining accurate information of the works, the strength, garrison, & c. I have not heard from him since, and presume the ordering of Tappan's brigade to Camden has prevented the execution of his plan.

Let me again thank you for the interest you expressed in my success, and for your co-operation in the work of improvement. I hope you will, without hesitation, make any suggestions or representations which may occur to you. My wife joins with me in kind regards to you, and hopes to have the pleasure of meeting you some time this summer in Little Rock.

Yours, truly and sincerely,

E. KIRBY SMITH.

HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,

Shreveport, La., June 4, 1863.

Lieutenant General T. H. HOLMES,

Commanding District of Arkansas, Little Rock:

GENERAL: Marmaduke's communication of the 21st ultimo was received at the office a few days since. It has the merit of being bold in its conception, but would require a larger force than could now be disposable for operations on that frontier. I am still of the opinion that it would be impolitic and unwise to make any move on Missouri, except with a force large enough to give reasonable hopes of holding the country. In Marmaduke's letter he speaks of employing guerrilla bands. No good can result from either encouraging or maintaining that system of warfare in Missouri; it only entails additional persecution and distress upon our friends, without advancing our cause in that State.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. KIRBY SMITH,

Lieutenant-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,

Shreveport, La., June 4, 1863.

Lieutenant General T. H. HOLMES,

Commanding District of Arkansas:

GENERAL: I am directed by Lieutenant-General Smith to call your attention to the importance of your operating with a cavalry force, at least a brigade, on the Mississippi River, as low down as Lake Providence or lower, and, if the country will admit of it, of sending a battery of field artillery, for the purpose of annoying, and the probability of destroying, the enemy's transports. There are many plantations on the river being cultivated by the negroes for the Federals. All such should