to the command of a cavalry brigade. He may be at the present time with Brigadier-General Mounton, as he ws ordered to Niblett's Bluff to collect stragglers, and General Mounton has requested that he may retain him. The order to him is sent through you, that he may receive your instructions with the order. He is the only cavalry officer that can be sent to you at this time, and will make a most efficient commander of a cavalry brigade.
So soon as you can spare two regiments of cavalry, you will send them to Northeastern Texas, with instructions to report en route by letter to Brigadier-General Scurry, commanding Eastern Sub-District of Texas, Houston.
By command of Lieutenant General E. Kirby Smith:
W. R. BOGGS,
Brigadier-General, and Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT, Shreveport, La., May 19, 1863.
Major General RICHARD TAYLOR,
GENERAL: I am directed by the lieutenant-general commanding to inform you that all the transports at this point have been ordered to meet General Walker's division at Campti on the 22d, to convey them to Alexandria. Should there be any danger from gunboats, the general desires that you will keep General Walker advised, so that he may land his troops at the proper point.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. P. PRATT,
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT, Shreveport, May 19, 1863.
Major General J. B. MAGRUDER,
Commanding, &c., Houston, Tex.:
GENERAL: By courier from General Taylor, I learn that General Banks is evacuating Alexandria. He will fall back toward Berwick Bay, or, what I most fear, will shift his command to Simsport on the Atchafalaya, and will embark to the assistance of Grant for an attack on Port Hudson. In either case he will anticipate the arrival of our re-enforcements, and will retire without our being able to seriously impede hi.
This charge in General Banks' operations renders the concentration of a force near Necogdoches in Eastern Texas unnecessary. The infantry command should not be moved from Niblett's Bluff, but should rather be strengthened by any troops of that arm that may be disposable. If the enemy fall back in the direction of Berwick Bay, holding the Opelousas country, the force at Niblett's Bluff is in position to co-operate with General Taylor's command in offensive operations.
I feel some concern for the safety of that portion of Eastern Texas on the Upper Red River. I do not know what your resources may be, or what precautions you may have taken, but we may anticipate a raid this summer in that section from the Kansas frontier. You should give this matter a careful and prompt consideration, and take such steps as may be in your power to meet this danger. I will send to that sec-