showing that the course of the major-general commanding was in accordance with his views.
I am waiting anxiously the development of the enemy's plans on the coast. All is quiet at points west. I still think the object of the expedition is the complete possession of Southern Louisiana. It may, however, in view of the assembling of our army on the line of the Sabine, thereby threatening the line of the Mississippi, strike farther west. I hope by Tuesday next to make some definite report as to what may be expected of the State troops. The cavalry of this battalion (two companies) have gone to the mouth of the Brazos.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. W. CAVE,
Major, &c., Chief of Bureau of State Troops.
SHREVEPORT, LA., September 14, 1863.
General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON:
MY DEAR GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt, from Colonel [T. H.] McCray, of your letter of the 27th ultimo.
It has always been my intention to send back to you, when it should become practicable, such men of your command as have found their way to this side of the river. The vigilance of the enemy along the Mississippi makes crossing, even for individuals, extremely hazardous; therefore, bodies of men have not been allowed to make the attempt.
I have put Colonel McCray to work to collect all the men of General McNair's brigade. As soon as communication is again established, these and all others can return to you, but till that time I think it useless to make the attempt. I sincerely hope affairs in your department wear a brighter aspect than they do in mine. I have but a handful of men to oppose the overwhelming masses of the enemy.
The preparations making by them at all points, and the occupation of a large party of Grant's force west of the Mississippi, indicate a determination to overrun at least Louisiana and Arkansas, with the probable intention of holding the country and bringing these States back into the Union.
Hoping, general, that success may crown your every effort for the public good, I am, truly, yours,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, ARMY OF TEXAS,
Fort Brown, Tex., September 14, 1863.
Captain EDMUND P. TURNER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Houston, Tex.:
SIR: New Orleans dates to the 5th are received. I have seen a letter written by the Mexican consul at New Orleans of that date, which says that-
Twenty thousand men are crossing the river at Carrollton, to take the Opelousas Railroad to Texas; that 10,000 had left for Brazos Santiago, under charge of Commodore Porter; that the President (Juarez) must be informed that these troops have the best feelings for his cause, and will do what they can to aid him.
If this is true, the enemy will be on us in a few hours; but it seems to me that a sufficient time has elapsed already for their arrival, and it may be that they have gone first to Saluria, and intend to occupy the line of the coast in rotation, and will not be here for some time yet. I