War of the Rebellion: Serial 062 Page 0922 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter XLVI.

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been carried that enough teams are not left to make another crop. Under this pressure the people have labored until they have become, if not disloyal, at least indifferent to any exertion for the future which will aid in supporting our armies or otherwise aid our cause. This indifference, added to a great emigration from the old and highly cultivated plantations to the new and uncultivated lands of Texas, and a prospective surrender of another portion of our best country, had made the question of food one that claims immediate attention. To those who have always regarded that department as overflowing with great abundance this may appear strange and doubtful, but it is nevertheless true.

With the Arkansas Valley in possession of the enemy, the Washita Valley prospectively in the same condition, the volley of Red River deserted by emigration to Texas or crippled by sholesale impressment, the lower portion of Louisiana either ruined or still covered by the Federals, nothing is left from which to raise subsistence but the comparatively barren pine lands of Arkansas and Louisiana. Then add to this the fact that our people are not hopeful are they striking to aid our armies either now or in the future, but, on the contrary, from facts I have learned since I saw Major Johnson, I am satisfied that combinations are already forming in portions of Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas to withhold form our armies all the aid that can possibly be withheld by declining to raise larger crops than are necessary for home consumption, and I drink you will agree with me that the picture is not bright nor the future prospect brilliant.

Had I space I could give facts touching the combinations alluded to that would satisfy you of their truth. The great extent of that department and difficulty of communication from one section to another renders such associations easy of formation and difficult of detection.

General Smith had personally organized a campaign intended, if possible, to redeem the Arkansas Valley from the Federals, but for various reasons had been compelled to abandon it previous to my leaving. The southern portion of Louisiana is comparatively fee from Federal troops. General Taylor's army had been sent, some to Texas and some to Arkansas. The enemy were evidently forming a fleet at mouth of Red River to ascend that and the Washita River. We have some defenses upon the Red River, but none upon the Washita.

When I left the defenses upon the Red River were unfinished, but the water was too low to permit the enemy reaching them.

In your orders to Major Johnson you direct him to report to you by letter. Owing to the present rigid blockade of the Mississippi River by gun-boats and cavalry, the crossing is hazardous. The

major considers that when he has completed his work it will be very imprudent to subject a full report to the hazard of capture while in transmission. In view of what I have written, which, of course, is only a shadow of what his report will be, I submit that it would hardly be discreet or proper to run the risk of having it perused by the enemy. The major desired me, therefore, to ask you to forward by me orders for him to report to you in person, when he can then safely make a full report in writing. Should you grant the order he and myself have made the necessary arrangements for its reaching him safely. I hop to leave for the Trans-Mississippi in a few days.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,