prepared for and anticipating the enemy; concentrating skillfully upon his main force, holding it in check, and crippling its movements; promptly striking his detached columns, routing and destroying them, the enemy have been completely foiled in the objects of their campaign, and have fallen back for a new plan and a new line of operations. General Taylor has been ably assisted by his subordinates, and in this connection I would respectfully urge upon His Excellency the President the immediate appointment of general officers to his command. Not only will its efficiency be increased, but the services of the officers merit the promotion.
Brigadier General Thomas Green, commanding the Cavalry Division, should be made major- general for his repeated successes throughout the operations in Lower Louisiana. He is a rising officer, and has displayed greater ability and military genius than any officer of his grade in the department. Colonel A. P. Bagby, commanding Green's brigade, with Colonel J. P. Major, Colonel Horace Randa, and Colonel J. W. Speight, each commanding brigades, should be promoted to brigadier- generals.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
Lieutenant- General, Commanding.
General S. COOPER, Adjutant- General, C. S. Army.
DECEMBER 22, 1863.
Respectfully submitted to Secretary of War. The want of proper returns from the Trans- Mississippi Department makes it impossible to determine here the wants of general officers for the various commands there, consistent with a proper organization agreeably to acts of Congress. According to these acts, general officers can be appointed to the command of army corps, divisions, and brigades. From the last returns of that department received here, dated June 1, 1863, it appears that Brigadier- General Green, who is recommended within for advancement to major- general, was commanding a cavalry brigade of four regiments, and Colonels Randal and Speight, also recommended within for brigadier, was long since appointed brigadier, to report to Major- General Taylor, and the returns show that he was commanding a brigade before he was thus appointed. I have written to General Smith to require a full return of the brigades and divisions of his command, and for the names and rank of the general officers in his command, with a view of ascertaining whether these late recommendations of his can be legally sustained by appointment.
Adjutant and Inspector General.
DECEMBER 29, 1863.
Respectfully submitted to the President. General Green might, I think, be at once promoted as a major- general in addition is probably wanted. The other promotions might await the answer to General Cooper's inquiry.
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
SECRETARY OF WAR:
It is deemed better to wait for the present a reply from General Smith.
J. D. [JEFFERSON DAVIS.]
25 R R- VOL XXVI, PT I