HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT, Shreveport, La., September 7, 1863.
Major General STERLING PRICE, Commanding District of Arkansas:
GENERAL: The lieutenant-general commanding calls your attention to General Orders, No. 38, from these headquarters, proclaiming pardon to all officers and soldiers now absent without leave from their commands who may report before the 30th of September. In view of the fact that there is now a large number of such persons within the limits of your district, the general commanding desires that before the expiration of the amnesty, say about the 15th instant, a brigade of cavalry, if it can be spared from your front, be scattered through the various counties of your district. Instructions should be given to make known the above-mentioned order, and to inform all those whom it may concern that, if the amnesty is not taken advantage of, they will be dealt with according to law as deserters. A reliable, active, and efficient officer should be charged with the execution of this plan, and he should be instructed to impress upon his men the importance of the duty intrusted to them. Such measures will be taken and such disposition of troops made as will secure as many as possible of the stragglers now roaming through the country. If these arrangements are carefully made, and all those promptly arrested who at the end of the month shall have failed to come in to th appointed rendezvous, the troops occupied will be kept but a short time from operations in the field against the enemy, and a large number of men will be brought into the ranks. The lieutenant-general commanding thinks by evincing a determination to deal firmly in the premises,all will be accomplished that the most stringent measures could do. He suggests the foregoing measures as expedient, but does not give explicit directions, as he does not know positively what your operations with the enemy are,nor whether the public interest will permit such a disposition of so much cavalry.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
First Lieutenant and Aide-de-Camp.
[HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,] Shreveport, La., September 7, 1863.
Major General PRICE, Little Rock:
GENERAL: Bankhead has ere this joined Steele. Re-enforcements are on the march to Bonham from Galveston. I trust Steele will soon be able to assume the offensive. The enemy are concentrating at Brashear City for operations either in Louisiana or Texas. A heavy column was yesterday reported 30 miles from Alexandria. Keep up the spirits of your men. Encourage the State troops. I have the assurance of soon having arms.
E. KIRBY SMITH,
HDQRS. DIST. OF ARKANSAS, Little Rock, September 7, 1863.
Brigadier General D. M. FROST, Commanding Division:
GENERAL: The enemy have driven Newton to the south side of the Arkansas, at Terry's Ferry,and are now holding the north bank.
THOS. L. SNEAD,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.