All their troops, except the cavalry and mounted infantry, were moved to Red River, and part of Price's division crossed at Duley's Ferry. They have a pontoon bridge at Fulton now. Quite a large infantry force is reported to be at Spring Hill, about 25 miles from Washington. The newspaper printed at the latter place informs the people that General Smith is going to hold the line of Red River.
It is my opinion that if you and Sherman move up Red with what force, you can muster, and I make a demonstration to turn their other flank (supposing Red River to be their line of defense) from here and Fort Smith, they will run to Texas. It seems that they are prepared for some such movement, for their principal supplies have been sent in that direction. The rebel troops are becoming more demoralized every day than they were the day previous. Their officers have no confidence in them, and I believe they will desert to us by the thousand the first opportunity. I have ordered out a cavalry scouting party in considerable force, with orders to distribute 3,000 copies of the amnesty proclamation among them. I would send all my effective cavalry from here to get onto the Fort Smith road by way of Hot Springs. The cavalry from Fort Smith would join, and the whole move to Red River, which they would reach at some main crossing above Fulton.
Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
MARCH 4-4 p. m.
Read by me. I will write to General Steele to push straight for Shreveport with all he has. The civil election is as nothing compared with the fruits of military success. I will also advise Steele to send you word at Alexandria by the 17th of his movement. I will see Admiral Porter to-night and agree with him as at all details up to the time of his meeting you at Alexandria, March 17; after which I leave all details to your sole and exclusive orders. I would like to go along, but think best to send my quota to you under a good subordinate.
W. T. SHERMAN,
THIBODEAUX, LA., February 28, 1864.
(Received 5.40 p. m.)
Brigadier General C. P. STONE,
Chief of Staff:
All quiet in this district. I have heard recently that a division of cavalry and train are to pass through this district by military road. I respectfully ask if such is the case, that I may hurry on repairs to the bridge at this point, which I think is unsafe for heavy loads.
E. L. MOLIVEUX,
29 R R-VO. XXXIV, PT II