Many of the men with Lieutenant Walton got up out of their sick beds to go, and the lieutenant himself did the same things; and to-morrow, it a scout were called for, every man who could sit on a horse would be willing to start. Our brigade has been broken up, and the brigade quartermaster ordered away, and our regimental quartermaster ordered to furnish all the troops in the convalescent camp. Is this right? And how is the quartermaster to account for these supplies on his returns?
Excuse me, general, for annoying you with all this; but as we are placed under your command, I thought it bust just to correct the impression that has gone out concerning us, and likewise to appeal to you for protection against impositions.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. M. RUST,
Captain, Commanding 21st Regiment Texas Cavalry and Convalescent Camp.
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., October 7, 1863.
Lieutenant General T. H. HOLMES,
Commanding District of Arkansas:
GENERAL: Your communication of the 5th instant has been received.
The removal of the stores from Washington, and taking a position nearer the Camden road, is what should be done. The assignment of the Arkansas troops which may be raised to Brigadier-General Fagan meets with my approbation. The telegraph from Arkadelphia to Camden should be removed with as little delay as possible. It is now of very little importance to us, and would be lost on any move in face of the enemy. You can connect yourself by a courier line with the telegraph at Camden, or at some point intermediate between Camden and Magnolia. The distance will be under 50 miles, and dispatches can be carried in six or seven hours. Your stores, except such as are immediately needed, say one month's supplies, should be removed as rapidly as possible from Washington. Shreveport is the safest point,where the bulk of them should be sent. If you will look at the map, you will see that the routes from Little Rock and Pine Bluff by Camden are the most direct and the most practicable ones for the enemy's advance. Supplies are more plentiful, and they, whilst moving directly on Shreveport, the strategic point of this section, give their flank to a junction with a column moving from Vicksburg. Your position at Arkadelphia is good only as covering the magazine at Washington. A rapid advance by the way of Camden will cut you off from Shreveport, and, throwing you across Red River at Fulton, will prevent a junction with Taylor. Camden is a better position than Arkadelphia for the infantry; the Little Missouri a stronger front than Washita; its bottoms in winter are impassable. I suggested to you at Arkadelphia to examine the county in your rear toward the Camden and Shreveport road, and select a position for your main force not liable to be turned by the Camden road, as is the case with the present disposition of your command. You should have a topographical map of the country, showing the roads practicable as lines of communication. You will, I think, find a road leading from the Shreveport and Camden road, by Woodlawn, direct to Arkadelphia. It crosses the Little Missouri low down. There is a road direct from Camden to Arkadelphia. You may, on examination, find it good to dispose your infantry at Camden and on the Little