have shown that we can calculate, with any degree of certainty, upon the loyalty of any given tribe of Indians only so long as we are in possession of their particular territory. The main object, therefore, so far as the Indians are concerned, is to make as great a show of strength, both as regards numbers and material of war, as possible.
The people of Northern Texas are making considerable demonstration in the way of turning out, and have expressed a desire to be permitted to report to General Steele. We have a four-gun battery on the way from Shreveport. Two or three regiments are reported on their way to Bonham. Nothing has been heard from Colonel Gould officially.
I am, quite sure, general, that everything possible will be done by the commanding general to render your position satisfactory to yourself and useful to the country.
I am, &c.,
J. F. CROSBY,
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., September 21, 1863.
Lieutenant General T. H. HOLMES,
Commanding District of Arkansas, Arkadelphia:
GENERAL: I inclose you copies of letters received yesterday and to-day from General Taylor.* As I stated to you here, I had been informed and was anticipating the movements of the enemy indicated in these letters. I was hardly prepared, however, for the scale in which they are being carried out. The intention of the enemy is clearly to overrun and possess this side of the river, controlling the Mississippi. It may then be their policy to accept intervention, acknowledging the independence of the States east of the river.
The immense preparations of the enemy, his superiority of numbers, and the inadequacy of our means for resisting him, is all so clearly demonstrated that more than ever am I impressed with the benefits that may result from Colonel [R. W.] Johnson's visit to Richmond. I have thought the matter over since your departure, and think the less time lost in this matter the better. I have prepared a copy of my letter to Mr. Slidell for Colonel Johnson's perusal, and will forward it to him, if any safe opportunity offers before I leave Shreveport. I wish you would write to Colonel Johnson, and urge upon him the good that may be done by a speedy visit to Richmond.
Their plan of operations will in a few days be developed by the enemy; whether Red River or Sabine Pass is their objective point is yet undetermined. Were Louisiana the object of this campaign, with the Mississippi as their base, Simsport, Marskville, and Alexandria is their true line of operations. The line from Berwick's Bay, pursued by General Banks, is the longest and most difficult one by which the State can be invaded. With the enemy's superiority of numbers even on this line, Taylor will be able only to hold them temporarily in check. Taylor's men will fight well; they have the utmost confidence in him as a leader. His own skill, and his quickness to perceive and to take advantage of the least fault of his enemy, may enable him to strike a decisive blow. Without this, which cannot be relied upon in our calculations,