War of the Rebellion: Serial 042 Page 0364 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX.

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[CHAP. XXXVIII.

ships incident to war and the glory that awaits all who serve their country faithfully.

By command of Major-General Magruder:

EDMUND P. TURNER,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,

Shreveport, La., October 28, 1863.

Major General RICHARD TAYLOR:

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communications of the 22d, 23d, and 25th.* I inclose you copies of letters written to Generals Holmes# and Magruder.## The movements of the enemy in your front make it probable that Alexandria is their objective point, but they have not sufficiently developed their lands to decide certainly upon their true line of operations. Magruder's reports from his cavalry on the Mermenton say that the enemy, with a pontoon bridge, were in readiness for crossing that stream on the 20th of October. They would naturally drive you as far from this front as possible before attempting a flank movement to Sabine Pass, and it seems to me extraordinary that they should not have made the Mississippi and Simsport their base of operations if the invasion of Louisiana was the object of the campaign.

The enemy moves with such caution that should the Red River be his line of operations he will be some time in reaching Alexandria. He will then shift his base to Simsport, and probably await high water before advancing farther. Should he push on up the Red River Valley, I shall concentrate everything and meet him. Magruder's troops are principally State troops, and may not leave the limits of the district. I can make no calculations upon the number of re-enforcements from his command. General Holmes reports his force ready to move on the receipt of orders, and should bring or send 5,000 good men. If the enemy remains at Alexandria, I doubt the policy of bringing General Holmes' force farther than Minden. It is there within easy march of Natchitoches, and still within supporting distance of the force upon the Little Missouri and the Washita.

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

E. KIRBY SMITH,

Lieutenant-General.

HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,

Shreveport, La., October 28, 1863.

Major-General MAGRUDER:

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication, Numbers 722, of the 12th instant, and in reply thereto am directed by the lieutenant-general commanding to say that under date of 15th of October, from these headquarters, you were authorized to retain 3,000 stand of arms which were received on the Rio Grande, and that Major Snead is mistaken in saying all of General Holmes' troops are well armed, when, in fact, a large portion of them are not.

In regard to that part of the same communication relating to cotton, I am instructed by the lieutenant-general to say your construction of the impressment act is entirely different from that of the legal authori-

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*See Part I, pp. 389, 390.

#See Series I, Vol. XXII, Part II, p. 1049.

##See of October 25, p. 353.

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