Liddell, commanding the District of North Louisiana. You should put yourself in communication with General Liddell, so that your co-operation can be affective and beneficial. Should the stage of water in the river permit the passage of the enemy's boats above Monroe, sharpshooters on the bluff above that point would check their advance. By the communications inclosed you will see that the Mississippi, the Atchafalaya, and Red Rivers are all falling. This fact makes it improbable that any protracted stay of the enemy's boats in the Ouachita will be attempted.
The inclosed copy of the letter* from General Scurry is interesting, presenting as it does the position of affairs in Alabama and Mississippi. All hangs on the opening there of the spring campaign. Successes there will so relieve us a s to admit of active operations with the limited means at our disposal. Arkansas is the only theater of operations in which permanent good can be reaped by successful operations. The recovery of the Arkansas Valley will be the result of any great success east of the Mississippi. Keep your command prepared, improve its morale, and be ready for active operations when the time comes for assuming the offensive. I should have written to you sooner expressing my intentions and giving you my views on this subject, but the accumulation of business has kept me constantly occupied since my return from Texas.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., March 5, 1864.
GENERAL: Lieutenant-General Smith directs me to inclose you the accompanying copy of an extract from a letter to General Holmes of this date, and to say in addition that there are two brigades of cavalry near Camden and at the disposal of General Holmes:
Watch the advance of the enemy's boats, and be prepared to co-operate through your cavalry with General Liddell, commanding the District of North Louisiana. You should put yourself in communication with General Liddell, so that your co-operation can be effective and beneficial. Should the stage of water in the river permit the passage of the enemy's boats above Mornoe, sharpshooters on the bluffs above that point would check their advance.
I am, general, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
S. S. ANDERSON,
SHREVEPORT, March 5, 1864.
Stop the movement of the cavalry brigade you were ordered to send to Major-General Taylor.
By order of Lieutenant-General Smith:
S. S. ANDERSON,
* See sub-inclosure, p. 1016.