War of the Rebellion: Serial 042 Page 0353 Chapter XXXVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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families, homes, and friends if you go into the army. I can only say that all shall be protected if I have the power to secure it to them.

[OCTOBER 25, 1863.-For Smith to Holmes, in relation to proposed concentration of forces, see Series I, Vol. XXII, Part II, p. 1049.]


Shreveport, La., October 25, 1863.

Major General J. B. MAGRUDER,

Commanding District of Texas, &c., Houston, Tex.:

GENERAL: I inclose you a copy of a letter just received from Major T. A. Washington.* It will only be necessary for you to read his letter to see the importance of supplying him immediately with the necessary operatives for putting his tannery and shoe shops in operation.

I will instruct Major Washington to call upon your for a detail of 50 men (shoemakers and tanners); he will furnish you with the names of the men, if practicable; they should be neither commissioned nor non-commissioned officers. You will cause the details to be made without delay, that the large expenditures of Major Washington and the fruits of his labors may be made available for the Government.

With respect and esteem, I remain, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant-General, Commanding.


Shreveport, La., October 25, 1863.

Major General J. B. MAGRUDER:

GENERAL: I inclose you copies of two letters just received from General Taylor.#

The ultimate objects of the enemy's operations in Lower Louisiana are, you will see, not yet clearly developed. I still believe Niblett's Bluff and Houston are his objective points. The disposable force of your district should be concentrated as near the former point as practicable, and if the mounted men, with light artillery, could be advanced to the Calcasieu, a co-operation with General Taylor, in the event of an advance on Texas, might effectually check him on that stream.

Should the enemy make the Red River Valley his line of operations, I shall concentrate from Holmes' command, and try and bring him to a decisive action somewhere below this point. Your mounted troops, with such light artillery as could move rapidly, held in readiness near Niblett's Bluff, could move rapidly across and effect a junction with the commands from Arkansas and Louisiana at some point above Natchitoches. The State troops may not feel bound by the tenure of their service to leave the limits of the State, but I feel assured no difficulty will occur when it is represented to them that this movement does not contemplate campaigning with them beyond the State, but only takes them to fight a battle on its border, which, with them, will be successful, and which, if lost, opens their whole State to invasion and conquest. I be-


*Not found.

#See letters of October 20 and 21, Part I, p. 388.