I may get them in hand. I learn the Davidson's battalion has also been assigned to my command, but I have received no official information in regard to it. Colonel Hardeman arrived here yesterday. His regiment is moving by companies, and is to rendezvous here on the 15th instant. I understand from him that he has but seven companies, numbering about 350 effective total; that his other companies have been detached, and attached to other commands.
If compatible with the interests of the services, I trust that these detached companies will be ordered back immediately, as the efficiency of the regiment will be enhanced by keeping it together, and everything should be done to improve the espirt de corps of this command. I have heard nothing from Colonel Terrell. So soon as my command is organized, I will furnish you full reports, and will also acknowledge receipt of orders. At present I am awaiting the arrival of staff officers and commands, and have not published a single order. Is Major Henry Pendleton to be considered my chief quartermaster?
Has Captain [E. P.] Gines been assigned to duty in this sub-district? I trust that the contract for an express line between this point and Houston may be approved by the major-general commanding. I also ask permission to establish an express between this point and Shreveport, La. This last express I regard as absolutely essential.
I have the honor to be, your most obedient servant,
SMITH P. BANKHEAD,
Acting Brigadier General, Commanding Northern Sub-District of Texas.
[JULY 10, 1863.- For Smith to Cooper,in reference to succor for Port Hudson, &c., see Series I, Vol. XXIV, Part III, p.997]
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT, Shreveport, La., July 11, 1863.
Major General J. G. WALKER:
GENERAL: I have received your communication from Delhi, announcing the reported fall of Vicksburg. Should this report be confirmed, Grant's army will probably be directed eastward. Louisiana must expect invasion by Banks' force in the direction of Berwick Bay or Simsport, Alexandria or Natchitoches are better positions for your division. Tappan's brigade, Parson's cavalry, and the force originally operating in Northeastern Louisiana must suffice for the present defense of that region. As soon as the fall of Vicksburg is verified, you will move with your division without delay to Alexandria. Your best route from Delhi is to march direct to Harrisonburg, and if the river is not safe and transportation available,march from that point across to Alexandria. Should you, whilst en route, find that the enemy have moved up Red River and occupied Alexandria, you will change your course, and make Natchitoches the objective point of your march. At Alexandria or Natchitoches you will await the orders of General Taylor.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
[JULY 11, 1863.- For Bankhead to Turner, in reference to Steele's movements in the Indian Territory, see Series I, Vol. XXII, Part II, p.922.]