CLINTON, LA., August 14, 1864.
General BRAXTON BRAGG:
Your dispatch of 12th received.* General Taylor was previously informed of your wishes, Four thousand infantry will cross the Mississippi River on Thursday, the 18th, at Dolgin Wall. This comprises the whole force expected.
ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 192.
Richmond, August 15, 1864.
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XVII. Lieutenant General Richard Taylor, Provisional Army, C. S., is relieved from duty in the Trans-Mississippi Department, and is assigned to the command of the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana.
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By command of the Secretary of War:
SAML. W. MELTON,
[AUGUST 15, 1864.- For Smith to Taylor and Bryan to Buckner, in reference to transfer of troops across the Mississippi, &c., see Part I, pp. 109, 110.]
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WEST LOUISIANA,
Alexandria, August 15, 1864.
Brigadier General W. R. BOGGS,
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: In reply to your communication of the 12th instant, Numbers 3671, I beg leave to say that I differ with you as to the insufficiency of my indorsement on the application of Brigadier-General Bee to be reassigned to his formed command. If my opinion is deemed of any value in determining the question, I cannot conceive terms that would express it more fully. My opinion of his entire unfitness for the command of a large body of troops is based upon observations upon the battle-field of Mansfield, where he was acting under my orders, or rather he was nominally subject to them, but failed to carry them out, and to this failure and his general want of appreciation of the necessities of the moment, I have reason to attribute our failure to capture Banks' entire transportation and artillery on the afternoon of the 8th of April. Having failed on the 8th to take any share in the engagement, or in any manner to contribute to the success of the day, I naturally supposed he would be eager to retrieve his mistake on the following day. He had orders from me to be in line of battle before daylight on the 9th, in order, if the enemy were still in position in our front, to assist the infantry in a renewed assault upon the hill at the peach orchard, or
* See Part I, p. 118.