the route of the introduction of cotton into Mexico by way of Laredo, I sent, some three days past, a committed of three respectable and confidential persons to transact some important business with the authorities of Tamaulipas, which doubtless will have a favorable result with respect to the exportation of cotton into that State, and with interests of our State in general. I will, I recover from my present sickness, go personally to see the Governor of Tamaulipas to make arrangements which will insure and guarantee that no difficulties will take place in the introduction of cotton into that State. If I should not be able to go myself personally, soon, I will send some confidential person to transact this matter, of which I have no doubt it can safely be arranged.
I have written to Colonel ford in regard to obtaining me discretionary powers with the opening of this port for the exportation of cotton, as I deem this necessary, having already some important views on hand which cannot be carried into effect otherwise. In case that this privilege be granted I can negotiate not only the safe introduction of cotton but also arrange other matters which will keep this frontier more peaceably and derive many advantages beneficial to the public service. The route between this place and San Antonio is entirely safe. The Yankees at Brownsville make no movements of advance, and will not be able to make any progress unless re-enforced by a large force.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, March 15, 1864.
Major General STERLING PRICE:
Commanding District of Arkansas, Camden:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 8th instant, and thank you for the friendly spirit in which it was write. Could we concentrate an army of 20,000 men in Arkansas the recovery of the Arkansas Valley would be the inevitably result and a campaign in Missouri might be reasonably undertaken. With yourself, general, I feel the importance of this move, and appreciate the results that would flow from it. You, however, know the limited means at our disposal and the large distances separating our small commands in Louisiana and texas. We can only concentrate in sufficient force to take the offensive with the hope of a successful campaign by the enemy forcing our columns to within supporting by the enemy forcing our columns obtained by successful east of the river. The last reports from your district puts the infantry force under 5,000. Since the disbandment of the State forces in Texas General Magruger's infantry command is less than 2,000. Taylor has between 7,000 and 8,000. Even should the enemy withdraw, the concentration of no very large and efficient force could be made in this department until the infantry arm is increased and the cavalry reduced. In taking command of the District of Arkansas I hope you will make it your aim to reduce and discipline the cavalry. No new mounted regiments should be received. All men liable to conscription under orders must now be assigned to infantry regiments. All inefficient and ill-mounted cavalry commands