HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT, Shreveport, La., January 14, 1864.
Major General R. TAYLOR,
Commanding District of West Louisiana:
GENERAL: By direction of the lieutenant-general commanding I inclose copies of letters* from Brigadier-General Mouton and Captain Vick, relative to getting arms across the Mississippi. On December 10 Colonel Harrison was instructed to send a reliable officer to communicate with Major Price, who was in charge of a large number of arms for this department, and make arrangements with him as to the time, point, and manner of crossing them. When General Mouton was assigned to the duty of receiving and securing these arms he was informed that Colonel Harrison had all the instructions necessary to be given from these headquarters, and directed to act in conformity to them. General Mouton seems to be under the impression that, the arms in charge of Colonel Duncan having been carried back from the river, there is nothing more for him to do, whereas it appears that those which he was sent to assist in crossing have never yet come to the east bank.
The lieutenant-general commanding suggests that General Mounton be directed to put himself in communication with Major Price without delay and to make the arrangements Colonel Harrison was directed to make, provided one or the other of them has not already done so. By all means should there be a definite and clear understanding between General Mouton and Major Price. If the report referred to in the letter of Captain Vick be true, that Major Price will not bring the arms to the river, General Mouton can be relieved from his present duty. I have the honor to inclose a copy of letter of instructions* to Colonel Harrison.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant and Aide-de-Camp.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WEST LOUISIANA, Alexandria January 14, 1864.
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: The communications received on yesterday from General Mouton, copies of which were forwarded by him directly to department headquarters, lead to the belief that no more arms are to be expected for the present from the other side of the Mississippi. This, in connection with the rising rivers and the withdrawal of the enemy from the Teche, makes me desirous of recalling Mouton's command to a point at least as near as Trinity, where the Ouachita Valley can be better protected than at Monroe, and the command in striking distance of this point. Orders have been sent to General Mouton to move to Trinity, unless events now unforeseen render his longer presence at Monroe desirable. He will be instructed to place a boat in Little River to facilitate communication with this place. He reports that a boat has been sent to remove the guns, &c., at Harrisonburg to Monroe, as the lieutenant-general commanding desired. General Mouton can amply protect the contemplated works at Trin-