HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., September 19, 1863.
Major General RICHARD TAYLOR:
GENERAL: General Price has fallen back to the Washita. His force is not over 9,000 effective, of all arms. Our reports make the enemy's force that entered Little Rock 22,000, since re-enforced by 5,000; they have pushed our rear-guard through Benton, and are reported, by General Price, advancing in force on Arkadelphia.
Walker's division should be immediately advanced to Natchitoches. Major's brigade, if it has not yet left Alexandria, should be pushed forward rapidly to the same point.
Have you had further and reliable intelligence of the Sabine Pass expedition? Has it returned to New Orleans? If the Lavaca or the Rio Grande is its destination, you will be relieved in Lower Louisiana. I have information which tends to make me believe Grant is preparing for an attack on Mobile.
I go myself to Arkadelphia as soon as General Price's reports are verified.
Should the enemy advance with the force stated, your command will have to be drawn on largely, and a concentration made somewhere in this vicinity. I cannot believe they are prepared to push any serious advance beyond Little Rock. Early in November the roads are impassable. They will be sufficiently occupied till that time in preparing for offensive movements and in organizing a State government. They bring a governor with them.
E. KIRBY SMITH,
CIRCULAR.] HDQRS. DIST. OF TEX., N. MEX., AND ARIZ.,
Sabine Pass, September 19, 1863.
To the Soldiers and Citizens of Texas:
I have ascertained beyond doubt, from letters found on board the steamer Clifton and intelligence from the Calcasieu, that the late expedition against this place was composed of 15,000 men, including 1,500 cavalry, a large quantity of artillery, and a number of wagons and mules, for a serious invasion of the State of Texas. The enemy is now returning; seven was vessels now lie off this place.
I call upon the Confederate troops already ordered, upon the State troops designated, and upon all the minute-men in this direction to march to Liberty without delay. The minute men, State troops, and citizens will swiftly communicate to Lieutenant Colonel J. D. McAdoo, assistant adjutant-general of State troops, at Houston, the day and hour of their marching, and the Confederate troops the same to Brigadier-General Scurry, at Houston, Captain A. N. Mills, assistant adjutant-general.
It is particularly desired that all troops, citizens, and others reporting for service here will state the time departure and expected arrival, as the information is absolutely necessary at these headquarters.
The reports relating to the movements of Confederate troops will be communicated to these headquarters by telegraph, via Beaumont, by Brigadier-General Scurry, and those relating to the movements of the State troops and minute-men will be sent through Major E. W. Cave, chief of bureau of State troops.