intention of re-enforcing Grant, especially does the importance of this movement force itself upon me.
The country east of the Mississippi is stripped of supplies. The enemy crossed below Grand Gulf. They must draw everything from the west side of the river. Their line of communication extends from Milliken's Bend to Grand Gulf. Could you transport your force up the Tensas and operate on Grant's line of communications, his campaign on the west bank may be to this movement. I know your desire is naturally great to recover what you have lost in Lower Louisiana, and to push on toward New Orleans, but the stake contended for near Vicksburg is the Valley of the Mississippi and the Trans-Mississippi Department; the defeat of General Grant is the terminus ad quem of all operations in the west this summer; to its attainment all minor advantages should be sacrificed.
General Grant's army is now supplies from Milliken's Bend by Richmond, down the Roundaway and Bayou Vidal to New Carthage; his army is dependent on the supplies brought, almost unprotected, by this route, and their interruption will reduce him to starvation or a charge of base.
E. KIRBY SMITH,
HEADQUARTERS, San Antonio, Tex., May 20, 1863.
Captain EDMUND P. TURNER,
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to inform you that, in obedience to your instructions, and after consultation with Judge Buckner, I sent two companies of cavalry (Strucken's and Weyman's) into Medina County, with instructions to arrest such conscripts in arresting 25 conscripts, and, but for information communicated by a disaffected German, named Gerters, some 20 more would have been arrested.
I have Gerters in confinement, and asks for instructions as to the disposition to be made of him. He has violated civil and military law in communicating intelligence to a people in rebellion against our authorities, and I recommend that he be tried by a military commission.
I herewith inclose a copy of a communication from citizens of Medina County, and ask for instructions.
If martial law was proclaimed in Medina and other counties adjoining, I think the disaffected could be brought to punishment.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
SMITH P. BANKHEAD,
Colonel of Artillery, Commanding Post.
Commanding at San Antonio:
COLONEL: You are doubtless aware of the fact that a majority of the citizens of Medina County are disaffected toward the Government of the Confederate States. It is a well-known fact that most, if not all, the county officers elected at the last August election were of conscript age, known to be disloyal, and in no way qualified to be offices