War of the Rebellion: Serial 042 Page 0043 Chapter XXXVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT, Shreveport, La., June 10, 1863.

General S. COOPER,

Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to request that General Slaughter may be ordered to report for duty in this department. General Slaughter has the confidence of the Mexican population on the Rio Grande, and, from his influence, is better suited for command in that section than any person that has been suggested to me.

I am induced to make this request from the growing importance of the Rio Grande as a channel by which supplies are to be brought into this Confederacy, and from the necessity of having an officer in command who, in addition to his military qualifications, possesses the faculty of controlling the Mexican population and accommodating the differences which are continually arising on that frontier.

General Slaughter can best counteract the influence of Colonel Davis, and prepare for the efforts which the Federal Government will make next winter to close that channel of supplies to the Confederacy.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. KIRBY SMITH,

Lieutenant-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT, Shreveport, La., June 10, 1863.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON:

GENERAL: Your letter of May 31 has just been received. All the disposable infantry of the department is now opposite Vicksburg, under General Taylor's command; his force includes General Walker's division and Tappan's brigade, just ordered from Arkansas. General Mouton, with his cavalry command and such infantry as could be collected within the district, has been ordered to operate opposite Port Hudson. General Taylor has instructions to spare no exertions in throwing supplies into Vicksburg; he was not to hesitate in crossing his force, if he could effect any good by so doing.

I have but little hopes of affording any assistance to the garrison at Port Hudson; the enemy will draw their supplies by the Mississippi and from Baton Rouge by the opposite bank.

The effective force at my disposal has been ordered to Vicksburg; that is the most important point; the stake there contended for is both the Valley of the Mississippi and the Trans-Mississippi Department. It was supposed Grant would be compelled in part to draw his supplies across the peninsula opposite Vicksburg, and, in the event of disaster, would withdraw at least a portion of his force by the same line. I shall spare no exertions in co-operating with you in the defense of those two important position.

I am, sir, respectfully,

E. KIRBY SMITH,

Lieutenant-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT, Shreveport, La., June 10, 1863.

Major E. SURGET,

Asst. Adjt. General, District of Western Louisiana, Alexandria:

MAJOR: I am instructed by the lieutenant-general commanding to direct you to order at once all disposable troops in the District of