HOUSTON, March 11, 1864.
Official letters from Major-General Taylor, through headquarters, Shreveport, represent that 3,000 that cavalry have arrived at New Orleans from the North; 5,000 and 6,000 have been brought back from Texas. The cavalry and troops from Texas have re-enforced Franklin, on the Teche. The movement will take place between the 15th and 20th. Cavalry and some infantry move up the Teche; gun-boats and infantry up Red River. Banks received orders to attack Mobile at all hazards; was resisting the order; unwilling to be thrown in reach of Grant's operations; seems more inclined to carry out his own plans. Disposable force of the enemy for this expedition 22,000, of which 6,000 or 7,000 will be mounted. There is no intention to operate in Texas at this time from the Gulf. Steele will advance from the north as soon as the season is propitious. Great allowance should be made for numbers. General Smith writes to mobilize our forces as much as possible.
J. E. SLAUGHTER,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENTS,
Shreveport, La., March 11, 1864.
Lieutenant General THEOPHILUS H. HOLMES:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 7th instant from Camden. The statement of Major Pindall is untrue. My letters to the President are all upon the books in my office, and are open to inspection. In a letter to the President of January 21 I stated that the interest of the Government demanded that a young, energetic officer should be sent to command the District of Arkansas - one who would excite the enthusiasm and win the confidence of the troops and people. With this exception I have always in my letter to the President spoken in the highest of yourself, for your qualities of head and heart, and have attributed any want of success on your part to the force of circumstances over which you had no control. Your application to be relieved from duty has been forwarded, with an indorsement, copy of which I inclose. At your repeated and urgent solicitations I have directed you to be relieved from the command of your district and ordered to report to the War Department. i have never, general, in the course of my official duties been so much embarrassed in making a decision. I know that the District of arkansas will never have a purer, more unselfish, and patriotic commander; no one more willing to sacrifice himself for our cause. A succession of circumstances, involving a loss of country, loss of confidence, loss of hope approaching almost to despair, necessitates a change in the administration of the district. I believe tat you can do more good now by representing in person to the President the true condition of affairs in that unfortunate country and using your influence to have a suitable person assigned to the command. I inclose extract from letter to the President, above referred to.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,