HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., October 25, 1863.
Lieutenant General T. H. HOLMES,
Commanding District of Arkansas:
GENERAL: I inclose you copies of two letters just received from General Taylor.* You will see that the force below, which has so long been menacing us, is about finally developing its plan of operations. From their position, an advance on either Alexandria or Sabine Pass is still practicable. Should the former course be adopted, and the Red River Valley be made their line of advance, I shall concentrate your command on Taylor's, and, drawing what support i can from Magruder, risk a general engagement somewhere below this point. Prepare your command for moving south with as little delay as possible. The smallest Arkansas brigade of infantry, with the cavalry under Marmaduke, should be left in Arkansas. Your line of march will be either direct to Shreveport or by Minden to Campti, crossing the river at Grand Ecore.
What reports do you receive from within the enemy's lines? I wish you would keep me better posted. Our friends at Little Rock should make you acquainted with every movement of the enemy.
I am, general, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
HEADQUARTERS PRICE'S DIVISION,
Camp Bragg, October 25, 1863.
I am instructed by Major-General price to direct you to send all your cavalry (retaining your headquarters couriers) toward Arkadelphia, to act as pickets. They will go at least as far as the Little Missouri, and be so disposed as to guard against cavalry raids from the enemy. General Marmaduke having marched yesterday morning upon Pine Bluff, our front will be exposed for a few days, when he will again take position at Arkadelphia and relieve your men. You will also throw out infantry pickets, and so dispose of your command as to guard against surprise.
Please report the number of cavalry and command as soon as sent.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
[L. A.] MACLEAN,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE, TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPT.,
Shreveport, La., october 26, 1863.
Brigadier General W. R. BOGGS, Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit herewith a report of the semi-annual inspection made by me of the District of Arkansas and the Indian Territory. I find it impossible to make it in so detailed a form as I would wish, and can only hope to poi out a few general evils which I find to exist, remedies for which it will be hard to find save in an entire reorganization of the troops and a more rigid enforcement everywhere of regulations and orders.
*See Vol. XXVI.