Honorable C. B. Mitchel offered the following resolution:
Resolved, That from our intercourse with Lieutenant General E. Kirby Smith, and on hearing his plans, we have the most implicit confidence in his regard for law, his military skill and ability, his devotion to Southern rights, his purity and integrity as a man, and we believe that the united, vigorous efforts of our people will, under his leadership, insure our final, and complete success.
Which resolution was unanimously adopted.
The conference, having considered all the matters submitted by the lieutenant-general, finally adjourned, having received the thanks of the general for attendance and advice.
F. R. LUBBOCK,
W. K. PATTERSON,
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., September 11, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War, Richmond:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 9th ultimo, handed me by Colonel T. P. Dockery, of the Nineteenth Arkansas Regiment. Colonel Dickery has been charged with the collection of the Arkansas troops from Port Hudson and Vicksburg and with the reorganization of his own brigade. He will carry out the instructions received from the War Department. I fear difficulties not anticipation of his own brigade. He will carry out the instructions received from the War Department. I fear difficulties not anticipate will be encountered by him in the discharge of this duty, and that his success will not equal the expectations of the Department.
Heavy columns of the enemy, both in the Indian country and near Little Rock, threaten us with the occupation of Arkansas to the line of the Washita. Our means are utterly inadequate for even defensive operations. General Holmes has not over 9,000 effective men. He is opposed by a column of some 20,000, whilst his flanks and communications are threatened from the Mississippi, in the direction of Camden. General Steele, with an ill-armed force, 5,000 or 6,000 strong, cannot be expected to make headway against Blunt, but will be compelled to fall back toward the line of the Red River whenever General Holmes is forced back upon the line of the Washita. General Taylor can give no assistance. He is opposed by a force of nearly three to one in his own district. I inclose you a memorandum of the forces within the department. Their numbers could be doubled had we the arms now to place in the hands of the men. The State troops have been called out. The old have been and are being organized into companies under the acts for local defense. I have no arms to place in their hands. The country in a great measure had been stripped of its shot-guns and rifles, which, early in the struggle, were taken east of the Mississippi by the troops. The retreat from Prairie Grove and the fall of the Post of Arkansas, just previous to my arrival, lost to the department a large number of small-arms. With the exception of a few hundred unserviceable guns, principally flint-lock muskets, crossed at Natchez in the month of June, nothing has been received in the department. Requisitions and representations have been made without practical results. Communications have been interrupted, and arms intended for us were lost at the siege of Vicksburg. The like ill-success has attended every effort to introduce arms