are exchanged. I cannot satisfactorily arrange the garrisons of the heavy batteries here while I have only infantry (who have never been under fire) to depend on. I think that many of the absentees from the those artillery regiments will rejoin them when it is understood that they will be stationed here, and that recruits will fill up the ranks more rapidly here than elsewhere.
There is a company of light artillery, commanded by Captain [W. E.] Dawson, attached to Moore's (Alabama) brigade, and just sent back to General Johnston by General Hardee because they have no guns. If you will order the company here, I think I can equip it within a short time, and, with permission from General Johnston to send into Mississippi for horses, can mount it. The company has seen much service and been frequently in action.
May I send Colonel Maury's regiments into Louisiana or Mississippi on a scout? The prisoners captured by him on his last expedition were operating with negro troops. They have been sent to Cahaba, in compliance with General Johnston's instructions.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
DABNEY H. MAURY,
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., December 12, 1863.
Major General RICHARD TAYLOR:
GENERAL: The lieutenant-general commanding desires me to commend to your favorable consideration the various measures that may be undertaken to annoy the enemy by organizing small parties, which, acting under your supervision, shall destroy their gunboats, transports, and depots. The lieutenant-general takes a warm interest in this matter, and would be pleased if, upon investigation you find it possible to do anything.
He directs me to say Mr. B. J. Sage, a gentleman who will wait upon you, is just from Richmond, and is in possession of the views of the Government on the subject. Mr. Sage has for some time devoted himself to these matters, and can give you information, both as to men and means, which may be valuable in carrying into effect the desires of the commanding general. You can readily appreciate the assistance such parties, properly organized, can render you, especially as the interior rivers and bayous of Louisiana will soon be navigable.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. R. BOGGS,
Brigadier-General, and Chief of Staff.
[DECEMBER 12, 1863. - For Smith to Taylor, in reference to co-operation of Holmes, &c., see Series I, Vol. XXII, Part II, p. 1094.]
ENGINEER'S OFFICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
Mobile, Ala., December 13, 1863.
Governor [T. H.] WATTS:
GOVERNOR: In soliciting Your Excellency's cordial co-operation with the Engineer Department of the Confederate States, it is at the