War of the Rebellion: Serial 042 Page 0048 W.FLA.,S.ALA.,S.MISS.,LA.,TEX.,N.MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

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from the yellow fever region and the malaria of Lower Louisiana. In any event, therefore, short of an almost total demolition of Bank's command at Port Hudson, we an almost total demolition of Banks' command at Port Hudson, we may expect him to attempt a campaign for the reduction of Red River Valley, with an eye to the establishment of bases of operations against Texas. Such a force as you can concentrate at or within supporting distance of Niblett's Bluff would greatly embarrass him. If they enemy is defeated at Vicksburg and Port Hudson, I hope his troops in Missouri may be taken from there to supply the ranks of the Army of the Mississippi. Arkansas being thus relieved from danger, we may gather a force that will enable us to expel him from all Lower Louisiana west of the Mississippi, and thereby to seize and fortify the true strategic points for the protection of that rich and beautiful region. Niblett's Bluff presents to my mind many advantages for a place of rendezvous for your disposable forces. It is on the flank of the enemy if he undertakes a campaign up the Red River Valley; there are good roads leading from there to various parts of Louisiana, and troops can be speedily transported from that point to Galveston this opinion of its advantages, I leave the selection of a place of concentration to your discretion. I have ordered a military road to be constructed from the Bluff to Vermillionville. A copy of your excellent letter to Governor Lubbock, of Texas, has been submitted to me, and I trust the people may turn out in such numbers as to give you an effective force for the defense of the coast and also the northeastern frontier. I believe I have informed you that I have directed Major-General Taylor to send two mounted regiments to that frontier as soon as he can spare them.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

E. KIRBY SMITH,

Lieutenant-General, Commanding.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, C. S. A., Richmond, June 11, 1863.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith, for your information, copy of a dispatch of the 20th of April last, addressed to this Department by J. A. Quinterro, esq., confidential agent of the Confederate States to Northeastern Mexico. Copies in translation of the exhibits therein referred to are also inclosed.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN,

Secretary of State.

[Inclosures.]

MONTEREY, April 20, 1863.

Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN,

Richmond:

SIR: I hasten to send you some important documents in relation to the arrest of Colonel Davis and other persons, which i regret not to have time to render into English, as an express for Texas is to leave here in a few moments, and I fear losing the opportunity of forwarding this dispatch.

Exhibit A is a communication, dated on the 15th ultimo, from Governor Lopez, of Tamaulipas, to the minister of state and foreign rela-