War of the Rebellion: Serial 042 Page 0257 Chapter XXXVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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never was my intention to erect any but a small inclosed work on the bank of the river. He will report to you his action, and will give directions for the removal of the guns, hands, and tools to this point, where the works are rapidly progressing.

If a work can be thrown up at Plaisance or at any point below, upon the plan and for the purposes which I have previously indicated, you will do well to push its completion. Should you desire it, one of the 9-inch guns can be left at Grand Ecore at your disposal. The construction by you of the fortification at Plaisance must depend upon the movement that you believe will be made by the enemy. Such work is only useful in obstructing the navigation of the river, and looks to the operations of the enemy being suspended until high water. Should he move in force from Berwick Bay before the rivers rise, the occupation of the work will be only a useless sacrifice of men and guns.

Should the enemy in force advance from Berwick Bay, your plans for the obstruction of Lower Red River will fail for want of time.

Would it not be well to be prepared in advance for the obstruction of the river above, should the abandonment of the country be forced upon us? There are points where one or more boats loaded with stone would form serious, if not permanent, obstructions to navigation.

It has been proposed to me, though I am unable to pronounce upon its feasibility, that the falls above Alexandria can readily be obstructed, in this way closing the navigation of the river for at least one season. There is every disposition on the part of the planters to give their hands, teams, and overseers for this work.

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

E. KIRBY SMITH,

Lieutenant-General.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,

Shreveport, La., September 25, 1863.

Brigadier-General BOGGS,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: I inclose you a copy of General Taylor's letter and my reply.* If any extensive line has been commenced, and not near completion, you will suspend operations. Only a small inclosed work on the bank of the river was contemplated by me.

If the ground is not suitable for a work to be garrisoned by about 300 men, commanding obstructions in the river, and the work not well under way, you had better communicate with General Taylor at Alexandria, and if he orders the fort at Plaisance to be constructed, give directions yourself for the removal of the guns, tools, and hands to this point with as little delay as possible.

Whilst the guns and tools are all needed at this point, if General Taylor requires any portion of them for his work at Plaisance, you will direct the necessary disposition to be made, after consultation with him. Two of the guns are absolutely necessary, and all the tools, if General Taylor can make other arrangements for obtaining the necessary supply.

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

E. KIRBY SMITH,

Lieutenant-General, Commanding.

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*See letter immediately preceding.

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17 R R - VOL XXVI, PT II