be destroyed and the negroes captured. This will involve the troops of your district going into that of another. This, however, will cause no trouble. It is thought forage can be procured on the river.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. S. ANDERSON,
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., June 5, 1863.
Lieutenant General T. H. HOLMES,
Commanding District of Arkansas:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 1st instant has just been received, and I have the honor to reply.
Major-General Taylor, with the greater part of his forces, was ordered to advance to a position opposite Vicksburg, with the view of co-operating with Lieutenant-General Pemberton, by breaking the enemy's communication and destroying his depots and magazines west of the Mississippi. I gave Major-General Taylor his orders to move to that position because I considered the great battle for the Trans-Mississippi Department was to be fought with General Grant. The brigade of Brigadier-General Tappan was ordered to be moved from Camden to Monroe, to be used as the necessities of Major-General Taylor might require. There is no intention of incorporating it permanently in his army, and as soon as it has accomplished the object of his orders, I shall direct a return to Camden, or some suitable point in your district.
If the rumors of the defeat and probable capture of General Grant's army, which have come to this point so repeatedly within the last week, are true, you need feel no apprehension about an invasion of Arkansas in force. General Banks is also reported to have been severely repulsed at Port Hudson. If these reports are confirmed, it is probable the enemy will be obliged to mass his forces east of the Mississippi. Should this occur, we may be able to concentrate our forces in sufficient strength to strike an effective blow for the recovery of Missouri.
You will observe that Major-General Taylor's operations are temporary. He has been ordered to return to Alexandria when he has effected all he can, and also to send back to Monroe Brigadier-General Tappan's brigade.
Your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
HEADQUARTERS CARTER'S COMMAND,
June 5, 1863.
[Major HENRY EWING,,
MAJOR: It has just been reported by one of Dobbin's men that Bragg, with five days' start, has been re-enforcing Johnston, and Rosecrans re-enforcing Grant; also that Johnston has driven Grant, with great slaughter, before him, refusing him permission to bury his dead, lest he should take advantage of it to retreat. It is very certain that the enemy