HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT, Shreveport, La., September 1, 1863.
Brigadier-General COOPER, Commanding, &c.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of August 14.*
I am sorry to see that you regard yourself as having submitted to wrongs. You possess the high opinion and respect of your superiors, who have represented you to me as a man of ability and patriotism. Your patriotism is evidenced by your continuing to serve under an officer whom you believe to be your junior in rank,and I trust that you will remain in your present command until the question of rank can be definitely and officially settled. Your influence with the Indian troops, whose confidence I believe you possess to a greater degree than any other person,makes it imperatively necessary for the interests of the Government that you should remain as their commander. The character of the struggle and your sense of duty as a patriotic citizen will, I trust, reconcile you to your present position the question of rank can be settled by the proper authority,and that you will give Brigadier-General Steele your hearty co-operation and support in the difficult and arduous command with which he is now intrusted.
You will forward me a copy of your appointment as Brigadier-General, if you have it. If not, you must obtain a copy of it from Richmond when the question of rank will be decided,and the senior placed in command.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE INDIAN TERRITORY, Camp on Middle Boggy, C. N., September 1, 1863.
Brigadier General W. L. CABELL, Commanding, &c.:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 28th received this morning. Your position on Poteau fulfills all the required conditions, the object being that you should not be shut up in Fort Smith,nor forced toward Little Rock. General Bankhead left this morning with his brigade, going in your direction. He will go no farther than Gaines' Creek, unless there should be, by the time he gets there, a necessity for his going farther to your assistance. Communicate with him. We have no news here as late as that you sent.
Your obedient servant,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE INDIAN TERRITORY, September 1, 1863.
Brigadier General D. H. COOPER:
GENERAL: I have to-day received information that the battery promised for Captain Howell consists of two 6-pounder guns and two 12-pounder howitzers, without caissons. These guns will not be in readiness before the 15th instant. I wish Captain Howell with his whole