HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., February 25, 1864.
Brigadier-General MAXEY, Commanding:
GENERAL: Lieutenant-General Holmes, commanding District of Arkansas, has this day been written to to order General Cabell to hold his brigade in readiness to join you should the enemy make an advance toward Red River. Should it become necessary you will at once call upon General Cabell and give him orders.
I am, general, very respectfully,
S. S. ANDERSON,
RICHMOND, VA., February 26, 1864.
His Excellency the PRESIDENT, and
The honorable the SECRETARY OF WAR:
SIRS: I beg leave, most respectfully, to call your attention to the letter of Mr. Barker, herewith sent, dated 26th ultimo, and received by me on yesterday. I have known Mr. barker for some years, and I have found him at all times to be a truthful and correct gentleman. He possesses much intelligence, and has large business relations where he lives. His account of the ravages of our friends is quite gloomy indeed, and certainly should be attended to. Drew County (to which Mr. Barker refers) is one of the first counties for wealth, population, intelligence, and patriotism in Arkansas. It borders on two counties (Chicot and Desha) which are upon the Mississippi River. Of course if this account be true as to this county, other counties in the State are suffering in the same way, and in the present uncertain condition of affairs in Arkansas this is a serious and a very dangerous experiment on the part of our generals and soldiers. If true as the facts are stated, Mr. Barker does not paint too highly their effects on our people, nor is he mistaken as to the final result. If we have lost friends there at all I am satisfied and have not a lingering doubt that it has been brought about by such lawless acts on the part of some generals there.
There is no question that our laws and regulations are ample to meet cases of this kind if observed, and I find General Orders, Numbers 104, 13th December, 1862, from the Office of the Adjutant-General here, exactly in point, but over in Arkansas it is too frequently the case officers obey orders or not, as it may suit their pleasure or convenience.
If any action can be had to relieve our people against proceedings like those named by Mr. Barker I would be much pleased, and I hope you will cause such steps to be taken, after the proper examination, as will afford an early, prompt, and effective remedy in the premises.
Very truly and respectfully,
A. H. GARLAND.
DREW COUNTY, ARK., January 26, 1864.
DEAR GARLAND: Let me entreat you, in behalf of the people of Drew County, Ark., to make one effort to save them and their families from starvation and ruthless plunder, not occasioned by the Yankees, but by Southern troops, acting, they say, by order of General Holmes.