When General Stele was here, in consequence of the disturbed condition of some of the counties of your district, it was determined at first to let you have the whole of Bankhead's command, but afterward it was thought that one regiment (Martin's) would be sufficient. He says that as General Steele understand the whole subject, and if you have not sufficient force, you can arrange with him to have the whole of Gano's command ordered down to co-operate with such forces as you can raise to carry into effect your plans.
I am, very respectfully, and truly, yours, &c.,
GUY M. BRYAN,
Major, and Assistant Adjutant-General.
October 29, 1863.
General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding, &c.:
MY DEAR GENERAL: Your letter of the 14th instant has been received. I inclose you copies of a letter from General [S. D.] Lee, and the orders given in that and another case similar to it. Every assistance and every facility in my power have been given to officers who have come to my department for the purpose of gathering up and taking across the river absentees from your command.
I have sent a copy of your letter to General Taylor, with instructions to put himself in communication with you, and, if practicable, establish the two lines of couriers, as you propose.
There is already a line of signal stations which crosses the river at the island in Bruins Lake, a short distance above Saint Joseph.
General Lee sent an officer to General Taylor, to make arrangements for the establishment of communication with your department. General Taylor reports to me that such arrangements have been completed. I have directed him to inform you what they are.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY IN MISSISSIPPI,
Canton, Miss., September 10, 1863.
Lieutenant General E. KIRBY SMITH,
Commanding Department of Louisiana and Texas, Shreveport, La.:
GENERAL: I send a detail of officers and men, who are cognizant of all the facts, from the Texas brigade, in my command, to your department, to arrest all deserters from my command, and if they cannot be brought on this side of the river, to have them brought to trial in your department; the detail being the witnesses. I would most urgently request that you give this detail all the assistance in your power in bringing these culprits to the light and to trial, for if they are not ferreled out and punished, the army on this side of the river will be totally demoralized. There is a too prevalent idea entertained by the men now that, by leaving their commands here and going on the other side of the river, they will be placed on duty and not punished for their offense. Your attention is most urgently called to the above facts.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
STEPHEN D. LEE,