lieve, general, that under your command your Texans will fight to the death, and that with Taylor's force, the re-enforcements from Holmes and those you can bring or send, we will not only destroy the column venturing up Red River, but will decide the fate of the department for the next twelve months. When I am convinced that the enemy's advance up Red River is certain, I will send your orders for the movement of the troops as above indicated. Meanwhile, should you get from General Taylor, or otherwise, such information as to satisfy you that such is their programme, you will not await the order from me, but send such force as you can move rapidly across to Natchitoches, with instructions to deflect to the north, should the enemy reach that point before them, and form a junction with our force between Natchitoches and Shreveport.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., October 26, 1863.
Commander THOMAS W. BRENT,
Commanding C. S. Naval Forces, Trans-Mississippi Department:
SIR: I am instructed by the lieutenant-general commanding to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 24th instant, stating your purpose to remove, with some of the officers of your command, east of the Mississippi River, after turning over to Lieutenant Carter the command of the Missouri.
In reply, the commanding general directs me to say he has no objection whatever to make to the course you propose, and will put no obstacles in the way of the execution of your purpose, provided a sufficient number of officers be left with the crew of the Missouri for her management.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant, and Aide-de-Camp.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, &C.,
Houston, October 26, 1863.
Brigadier General W. R. BOGGS, Chief of Staff:
GENERAL; By an order from department headquarters, Privates ---- ----, of the Twelfth Battalion [Texas State troops] (Smith County), commanded by Major Coleman, have been detailed in the manufacture of salt in that county. The policy which I have adopted to preserve the State troops is to make all details (when absolutely necessary) from the unarmed infantry. When I called for 10,000 State troops, I offered to receive all as cavalry who should present themselves organized in the minimum or over, required by law, and who would furnish their own horses and arms, all other to be infantry; in this way I have obtained about 4,000 armed men. In order to increase the efficiency of the Confederate regiments, greatly reduced by details, I ordered all detailed men, who could with any possibility be spared, to be relieved by details from the unarmed infantry, and that no details should be made from the armed troops of the State, except for important purposes purely and exclusively for the Government. Now the applications are from 10 to 20 a day for these details, on every conceivable ground, and if I had