War of the Rebellion: Serial 084 Page 0538 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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the command at Saint Charles. They are ordered back to Morganza. General Canby has determined upon establishing a post at the mouth of White River. I hope he will send troops from the Department of the Gulf or that of Tennessee to occupy it, as I am willing to trust to the gun-boats to protect their own stations. I hope Price will develop his plans soon, so that we can give him a lick somewhere. A party will start to-morrow morning which I think will damage them some. I will tell you about it in my next. I am anxious to make some changes in the organization of divisions. The district business does not facilitate matters much. I was persuaded into that by my staff against my own judgment. I promise you that you shall be remembered in any permutations and arrangements that may take place. My greatest query is, how can I make the changes which in my opinion ought to be made, without offending some worthy officers. I have very confidence in General West's talents and energy of character; he would make a good commander of a cavalry division or chief of cavalry, but if his regiment was infantry the cavalry officers will all take it as a slight to their arm of the service. General Davidson did his best to promote this idea. General Bussey wants to command a cavalry division, and General Carr says if the cavalry division is to be reorganized he shall claim command of it and he thinks he can command the district at the same time. I say no to this proposition. Hold on a little and I will endeavor to cipher the thing out.

Truly, your friend,



DEVALL'S BLUFF, August 3, 1864.

Captain C. H. DYER:

The following is just received from Colonel Wood:

BROWNSVILLE, August 3, 1864-8.50 p. m.

Major Thacher, Ninth Kansas, is just from the north and reports Shelby, with his whole command and three pieces of artillery, at Hickory Plains on Monday going toward Des Arc; nothing heard from his since. Citizens give information that McCray was at West Point on Monday with his command, having left Austin on Saturday. He came some seven miles this side of Austin for the purpose of destroying the railroad; thought it too heavy a contract and returned. This information is reliable.




Fort Smith, Ark., August 3, 1864.

Major-General STEELE,

Little Rock, Ark.:

Generals Cooper, Gano, and Stand Watie on Sunday afternoon moved upon the Texas road toward this place. I moved out with a portion of my force about a mile in front of the fortifications and attacked them, and in half an hour drove them from the field, losing but one man on our side. The enemy took away several ambulances of their killed and wounded. It was nearly dark when the action closed. The enemy retreated during the night. I sent cavalry in pursuit but could not come up with them. Information has since come in that they have fallen back to Buck Creek (about twenty-five miles) to await re-enforcements