HDQRS. TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., May 15, 1864.
Brigadier General S. B. MAXEY, Commanding, & c.:
GENERAL: Your letter dated 9th ultimo [instant] just received. The commanding general directs me to forward you the following information, just received from Major-General Parsons:
On Friday last six regiments of infantry crossed the river and started up (i. e., from Little Rock), and one regiment of cavalry on this side. They stated to the citizens that their destination was Fort Smith. The negro regiments had crossed at Little Rock and were encamped on the other side, and other troops are said to be crossing daily.
The commanding general suggests the propriety of ascertaining the truth of these reports before making any move which would endanger your command. Gano's brigade left Camden and should have reached your district by this time. Krumbhaar's battery has gone to Laynesport. General Steele was overtaken at Jenkins' Ferry, on the Saline. A battle was fought, lasting all day. The enemy retired, and for the want of ammunition and supplies General Smith was unable to pursue. The enemy's dead and wounded were left in our hands. The Saline rose over its banks immediately after the battle, and Steele retired without further hindrance to Little Rock. He lost all his transportation and almost all of his artillery. General Banks' army is in Alexandria, closely besieged by General Taylor. Several of the enemy's gun-boats and transports have been captured. General Banks has been re-enforced and will endeavor to save his boats and army. Generals Walker, Churchill, and Parsons are on the march to re-enforce Taylor, and General Smith hopes to be able to destroy Banks' army and boats. The condition of affairs at Alexandria and the destitution of the country north of Camden has rendered the return of the commands to Red River necessary.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. R. BOGGS,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.
SPECIAL ORDERS, ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 113.
Richmond, May 16, 1864.
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II. Major G. O. Watts, artillery, Provisional Army, C. S., will proceed to headquarters of General E. K. Smith, commanding Trans-Mississippi Department, and report for assignment to duty with Major General S. B. Buckner.
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By command of the Secretary of War:
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., May 16, 1864.
Major General T. J. CHURCHILL, Commanding Division:
GENERAL: The commanding general directs me to inform you that the enemy have evacuated Alexandria. You will therefore