War of the Rebellion: Serial 042 Page 0258 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX. N. MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

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HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,

Shreveport, La., September 25, 1863.

Major General RICHARD TAYLOR:

GENERAL: Since writing you this morning is reference to the works at Grand Ecore, I have received the within report from Major Douglas.* His views are sound. From his examination of the location, extensive works will be necessary, should it be determined to defend the position. They were never contemplated by me at that point, and I shall direct the guns, &c., removed and all operations permanently suspended. Unless you feel satisfied no advance of the enemy will be made in force before the rivers rise, his recommendation had better be adopted, and all heavy guns transported to this place, where a concentration is practicable and where extensive works are under construction. You should give your attention to the obstruction of the river; at least, preparations should be made in advance, so that it can be promptly obstructed when necessary.

I am, general, yours,

E. KIRBY SMITH,

Lieutenant-General.

SHREVEPORT, LA., September 25, 1863.

Brigadier General HENRY E. McCULLOCH,

Commanding Northern Sub-District of Texas:

GENERAL: I have just received your letter from Bonham, and on the eve of departure for Price's command at Arkadelphia.

I wish you success in bringing back the absentees in your district to their colors. It is one of the crying evils in this department, and one of the most difficult to manage. Where clemency and persuasion fail, force must be resorted to. Any citizen who it can be clearly proved is encouraging this lamentable desertion from the army, should be arrested and sent beyond our lines to the enemy, where he belongs. The employment of negroes throughout your district for detailed men should most unhesitatingly be adopted; orders to that effect have been issued.

The drafting of the militia may take many men from your district whose presence is indispensable at home. Forward General Magruder a list of such names as you honestly believe should be detailed to remain at home. Retain the millers needed for grinding the present crop, on your own authority, till General Magruder can act on their cases. The wheat crop must be ground.

I do not know what I can do for Edgar; he deserves promotion, but there is no promotion power except for gallantry in the field. Dr. Haden, medical director, has written to General Magruder's medical director, requesting that Dr. Baring may be ordered to report to you.

Sincerely, yours,

E. KIRBY SMITH,

[Lieutenant-General.]

HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,

Shreveport, September 25, 1863.

Major General J. B. MAGRUDER,

Commanding District of Texas, Houston:

GENERAL: The lieutenant-general commanding has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 19th instant,+ with inclosure.*

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*Not found.

+See p. 243.

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