movement by your forces down the east bank of the Mississippi River, we can clear both sides of that stream to the neighborhood of New Orleans, and perhaps the city itself. If the movement indicated is practicable on your part, and you should desire to avoid Baton Rouge, the roads leading from Jackson and Clinton to what is known as the New River road, which at this season and for a month or two later are entirely practicable, will enable you to strike the Mississippi nearly opposite Donaldsonville, and my expedition would reach the river a short distance below that place, or 15 or 20 miles below, as circumstances might render more judicious or advisable. This movement, made by us in concert, would, in my opinion, not only be attended with the good results above mentioned, but, in consideration of the small force left in Lower Louisiana, would almost inevitably force the column which had moved into Texas to return for the protection of New Orleans.
I send a cipher by which we can communicate with each other.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
SAN ANTONIO, TEX.,
September 24, 1863.
General LEWIS T. WIGFALL, Richmond, Va.:
MY DEAR GENERAL: I have the most cogent reasons for believing that a most pernicious policy of traffic with the enemy, or within their lines by their connivance, is being inaugurated in official quarters in this department. Unless some "change has come over the spirit" of our Government on this subject, I know that this policy is very far from meeting the approval of the President. But it may be carried on for a considerable period without his knowledge, in the present state of affairs on this side of the Mississippi. So soon as I heard that such a policy was being carried out, I took steps through the medium of a letter to my friend, Surgeon [J. M.] Haden, of General Smith's staff, to apprise the general of what I know to be the President's view of such transactions. A copy of that letter I now inclose in one to the President, and with this forward them to you. If you concur with me in the propriety of bringing this matter to the notice of the President, you will please deliver him my communication. For my own part I look upon it as a matter of the greatest importance, but I defer to your better judgment.
I very much regretted not meeting Colonel [J. C.] Ives when he was in this State the past summer. In fact, I think it much to be regretted that he did not remain here. Nothing, in my opinion, could conduce more to the benefit of the service than the presence in this department, now isolated, of some discreet member of the President's staff, who could take a view of public affairs from a position above the distorting elements of local prejudices and passions, clique influences and interests, or selfish considerations personal to himself.
Please present my highest regards to the members of your family, and believe me, truly, your friend,
SAN ANTONIO, TEX.,
September 23, 1863.
President DAVIS, Richmond:
Mr. PRESIDENT: I deem it my duty to call your attention to the facts stated in the within copy of a letter I addressed to Surgeon Haden, for