Price, as you doubtless know, has got off into the Indian Nation- the last, probably, we will hear of him for some time. Magruder, the general still thinks, is watching his opportunity to cross. Under these uncertain circumstances the general cannot withdraw your forces or any part of them at present for the co-operation which is expected by Sherman, whose plans have been received by late dispatches from Washington. Last week it was reported, on apparent good authority, that Natchez was threatened, and with the general's consent I ordered two regiments up there from Morganza. They are probably on their way back again before you receive this. The general has authorized General Dana to remove the corps headquarters to Memphis, and to leave at the District of Vicksburg an officer who is able and willing to carry out his views. Brigadier-General Smith is the only available officer at present, and represented to be a good fighting man, but lacking in manliness and dignity so necessary in a command where civil matters are almost as important as military matters. I suppose none of your brigadiers would answer to exchange with General Smith. General Canby leaves the cotton-pass business of General Dennis in your hands for such action as you may think necessary. There probably was no evil intent, but officers should be specially careful on this touchy question, which has proved too strong a temptation to many a hitherto honest man. I will try to find a mustering officer for the corps. There is a Captain Cheek here (late Thirteenth Infantry, now retired), who may answer the purpose. If qualified he shall be sent up to-morrow.
Having to represent the general personally as well as officially (I live in his house since Mrs. Canby's arrival), I am, of course, occupied during every making moment. I shall, however, find time to keep you constantly posted on matters generally, and the general's condition especially. As the general's friend and most valued co-worker, you will please to receive the assurance that I shall endeavor during this trying period to do my duty as his representative as faithfully as possible, and that where important matters are left to my discretion to decide I shall act as I honestly think you and he would act.
This letter cannot leave until to-morrow, and I may have something of importance to add in the meantime. I shall ask the general to let me send you in cipher copy of General Sherman's plans. They are materially what we thought they would be.
With many kind regards to Major Farrington and other friends on your staff, I am, dear general, very respectfully and truly,
C. T. CHRISTENSEN,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI, OFFICE OF ASSISTANT INSPECTOR-GENERAL,
New Orleans, La., November 15, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel C. T. CHRISTENSEN,
SIR: I have the honor to report the information of the major-general commanding the following from the reports of Major-General Herron, special inspector:
First. The cavalry of the Department of Arkansas: In September, 1863, the cavalry was formed into a division under Brigadier-General Davidson, and were kept, under his management, in excellent condition.