does not thank the defeat of Sherman at all changes the status of affairs in your district, unless a part of the enemy's force in withdrawn from the Arkansas Valey. He desires you to give him what information you may lately have received as to the enemy's strength and movements in your front, especially whether General Steele has been drawn upon or any arrangements looking to such a step made.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant and Aide-de-Camp.
HEADQUARTERS CABELL'S BRIGADE,
February 22, 1864.
Brigadier General J. S. MARMADUKE,
GENERAL: I have the honor to inform you that I have received information from Colonel De Morse, as well as others, that the Federals have crossed the Poteau Mountains, and are encamped between 500 and 800 strong, about 10 miles east of Dallas, in Polk County. Their object is evidently to reach Red River by small scouts and to drive off Gano's brigade of Maxey's command, and thence into Texas. Besides, their main object is to establish a post as near to us as possible in order to get deserters from our army, to administer the oath to all they can, and to get possession of as many counties as they can previous to the 28th of March. Gano's command does not amount to more than 300; Gano says 500 at the outside. Colonel De morse [desired] me to co-operate with him and move on them at once. I replied that I did not feel authorized to make an expedition without orders from yourself or General Holmes. That I had applied to be allowed to make an expedition to Northwestern Arkansas, and that I had received no answer. Also that if the Federals advanced on him or in this direction that I would move rapidly to meet them.
I am firmly convinced that now is the time for our army to move from right to left. They have fewer troops than they will have in thirty days, and if we dont's move they will move on us. I feel confident that these troops cannot remain long where they are, as the country will not subsist them very longs; consequently, they will be compelled either to advance or fall back. I therefore respectfully ask that I may be allowed to make an expedition whenever I think that it can be done successfully against the enemy, either where they are or a Waldron. Should the enemy advance I will meet them at once. My command is sadly deficient in cartridge-boxes. I applied through the ordnance office for cartridge-boxes, and the reply was "that they would not be issued until spring." I cannot see why they could not be as serviceable now as they would in any part of the spring. I respectfully ask that they may be sent to me at once.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. CABELL,
P. S.-Nothing heard from my scout of 125 men who went in the direction of Dallas. Please show this letter to General Holmes.
W. L. C.