moralization. Ought not Congress to take some steps to enable this department to become self-sustaining financially, as it has been for some time, and must be hereafter, military?
I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
DISTRICT OF SOUTHWEST MISS. AND EASTERN LA.,
Camp 10 miles south of Libery, January 28, 1864.
Colonel T. M. JACK:
The enemy are moving about 10,000 strong toward Ponchatoula, and landed 4,000 last night. Infantry above Bayou Sara. I am satisfied they are preparing to advance toward Woodville and Clinton from both direction. The Federal force in East Louisiana is about 10,000 infantry and 3,500 cavalry white, and 7,000 negro troops.
RICHMOND, VA., January 29, 1864.
General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General, Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: Early in last month I met in the Trans-Mississippi Department Major J. P. Johnson, assistant adjutant and inspector general, ordered to that department upon special duty Traveling together for some time, and learning that I was about visiting Richmond with dispatches from Major Szymanski to Colonel Ould, agent of exchange, he desired me to see you personally and make to you a general statement of affairs in that department, as he was not prepared then, nor did he deem it prudent, to make a written report. At that time he had only visited the District of Arkansas and a portion of Louisiana. He had found the army in a tolerable condition, increasing favorably in numbers by the return of those who left after the retreat from Little Rock and by some recruits. There was complaint of want of clothing, but has was being remedied as fast as the means of the department would allow. Arms were scarce, and those in hand were in bad order. The discipline was not good, but improving. He had examined the quartermaster's and commissary departments, and found much to complain of, but was applying remedies so far as he was able.
The condition and temper of the people were very unsatisfactory. Great dissatisfaction prevailed in many sections, and generally among the mass or success deemed almost a matter of indifference, and in many localities the advent of the enemy would be hailed as a relief. Major Johnson is of the opinion (and I fully concur with him) that much and perhaps most of this feeling is caused by the general disregard of all law or sanctity of private rights by the officers and men of our own army. In the matter of impressment is their peculiarity the case.
In some localities all the cattle, hogs, and corn of the farmers have been taken, and after all their teams have been impressed for the use of the army or for the cotton bureau, and when once impressed, are seldom of any further use to the owner. In many instances which came under the notice of the major and myself so far has this