established by my direction is now under the orders of a medical officer at Little Rock, 260 miles distant, who gives orders without any reference to me; a system which I think entirely wrong.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
COTTON PLANT, July 8, 1863
GENERAL: There is nothing left for us but to go down the Cache in barges to Surrounded Hill, and thence to Des Arc. Major Brinker will explain to you our facilities. Please have the command brought over to the bayou early in the morning. Let the ordnance stores now at the bayou be sent over in the flat, the empty wagons being driven round to receive them; the ordnance stores of the brigade and commissary supplies to be brought over in the same way. I am governed in this course because I cannot put the command, but for a few days anywhere else than here, nor on any other road. By this arrangement I hope to be in Des Arc in four days.
I am, general, very respectfully,
TH. H. HOLMES,
BAYOU DE VIEW, July 8, 1863
Major THOMAS L. SNEAD, Assistant Adjutant-General:
MAJOR: I have just succeeded in crossing the bayou, and have no hesitation in pronouncing it wholly impracticable for the train and artillery, and exceedingly dangerous for the cavalry. Marmaduke's command encamped here last night, and have been crossing all the morning; will probably get over by 2 p.m. His wagons and artillery are ferried over at the rate of two an hour, the teams being brought can cross. You can make the calculation how long it will take to pass. General McRae's bridge over Caney is still standing, and with an hour's work will do very well. The road from Caney to the bayou is very bad, but I think the wagons can be pulled through. I passed the Pioneers about a mile east of Switzer's. After repairing the bridge over Caney, I do not think they can improve the road much. They bayou is higher than when we crossed going down, and is "on a stand."
I will send you a report from Cache some time to-night.
Lieutenant of Engineers.
P. S. - Captain Cage will report direct to you from Cache on the Augusta road, when you can judge for yourself.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE INDIAN TERRITORY,
Fort Smith, July 8, 1863
Brigadier General D. H. COOPER:
GENERAL: Your letter of yesterday is received. There will be no delay in concentrating all the troops under my command. I receive a