HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS, No. 222.
Camp Bragg, December 2, 1863.
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III. Captain S. T. Ruffner, with his company of light artillery, is relieved from duty with Marmaduke's division cavalry. He will turn over his guns to Captain [Joseph] Bledsoe, and report with his command to Major-General Price for assignment to duty with the battery of pieces now commanded by Captain Von Phul, Drayton's brigade.
IV. Brigadier-General Marmaduke, commanding cavalry division, will place the field battery, turned over by Captain S. T. Ruffner, in charge of Captain Bledsoe and his company, now serving with Shelby's brigade.
V. Major-General Price will direct the men transferred to Von Phul's battery light artillery from infantry regiments, to rejoin their respective commands as soon as relieved by Captain S. T. Ruffner and his company.
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By command of Lieutenant-General Holmes:
J. F. BELTON,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.
CONFIDENTIAL.] HDQRS. TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, December 3, 1863.
Lieutenant General T. H. HOLMES,
Commanding District of Arkansas:
GENERAL: Your letter of 2nd December is received. I leave immediately for Alexandria, and expect to return Tuesday next. A personal interview with General Taylor regarding the movement of re-enforcements from Louisiana to Texas necessarily takes me to Alexandria. On my return I will proceed immediately to your headquarters. In the mean time make all your arrangements and dispositions for carrying out the plan of operations you may adopt. The question of supplies and transportation will be the greatest difficulty to be encountered. I know not what your resources are, nor whether you can calculate upon rapidly accumulating the necessary supplies in the country you may advance in. If a move on Pine Bluff is determined upon, I think the force under McCray could be made a valuable auxiliary. He should be prepared in advance, and, acting in connection with even a small brigade of cavalry sent north of the Arkansas, could operate on the enemy's communications, engage his attention north of the Arkansas, and create a favorable diversion for the expedition. Efficient officers or agents should be sent into Eastern Arkansas, and supplies should be collected on the route between Pine Bluff and the Washita River, via Monticello. Arrangements should also be made for the safe and expeditious crossing of the Washita by your command below the mouth of the Saline. You may be compelled to take this line in falling back, either from the flooding of the streams or the overpowering numbers of the enemy. Steamboats should be collected at the point you propose recrossing the Washita, and if a temporary bridge could be constructed with these boats it would be advisable. I am expecting daily the arrival of one thousand two hundred Enfield rifles, now en route from Navasota to this point. They will be immediately pushed on to your command. General Dockery's men should be first armed, and his command will be placed at your disposal as infantry. The remainder of the arms can be