Missouri, with your cavalry as far to the front as possible. Your concentration of Camden would be easy, and your line of retreat toward Shreveport would be secured. The cavalry would find an abundant supply of grain between Tulup and Princeton, and in that vicinity, and the line of march on which the enemy would be likely to advance would be exhausted before him. Supplies, I think, can be obtained in the vicinity of Camden, for the subsistence of the troops. These suggestions require your immediate attention. Taylor will draw in and concentrate his command in the Red River Valley, and, when the enemy advances, a concentration will be made, and he will be met with our whole disposable force. This cannot be done till the enemy moves and develops his plan. The distances are so great that he must be committed before we concentrate. He is too far off for us to reach him, and, should the concentration be made before he moves, he may remain on the defensive, and the abandonment of one section have been made fruitlessly, from our inability to reach the enemy after concentrating.
I am, general, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS,
Arkadelphia, October 7, 1863.
Major General STERLING PRICE,
GENERAL: The lieutenant-general directs me to inform you that no orders were given to General Fagan conflicting with the marching orders given to him, to which you refer in your letter of the 6th, but in consequence of the orders relating to his taking command of all Arkansas volunteer troops, he was necessarily detained here a day or two by the permission of the general commanding, of which fact General Fagan should have informed you. It was may impression that a copy of the order was made out, relieving General McRae from duty with his command, and sent you. I know hat it is ordered that they should be sent you without delay, and, as you desire, a copy is now sent you.
I am, very respectfully,
GEO. A. GALLAGHER,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
SHREVEPORT, October 8, 1863.
Colonel R. W. JOHNSON:
MY DEAR COLONEL: I receive your letter of the 5th this morning. I was then on the eve of writing you. The order for the impressment of negroes came from district headquarters. Only 500 were asked for the work at Fulton, and I can conceive of no necessity for calling for more than one-fourth of the able-bodied made hands in that section of country to meet the demand. Colonel [S. S.] Anderson has written you, inclosing his letters to the district commander and the post quartermaster at Washington, [Ark.] The call for three-fourths of the hands was onerous and excessive; it shall be changed. If you desire the entire exemption of your negro force, and will make the request, stating your reasons, I will give it my immediate attention. To make an exception