War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 0624 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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souri. The Arkansas River above Little Rock is fordable at every few miles of its course, and it was impossible to occupy in sufficient force all points where crossings could have been effected without a mounted force equal or nearly equal to that of the raiders, the crossing could not have been prevented, nor would the pursuit by an infantry force have been effectual. General Steele has in the field a large mounted force for the purpose of intercepting Price's retreat. I am not yet advised that he has got beyond his reach, and it is known that some of the advance parties of his retreating forces have been cut off by Steele's troops. Soon after the Department of the Missouri was added to this division I advised General Rosecrans that it would be impossible to prevent raids of this character, but that an invasion of Missouri by an infantry force could be prevented. Three attempts have been made by the rebels to move an infantry force across the Arkansas River toward Missouri, and each time they have been prevented by our throwing re-enforcements into Arkansas. There has been a want of foresight on the part of General Steele in not making timely provisions for the wants of his troops, and a consequent unsatisfactory delay when immediate movements were necessary. I recommend that he be relieved and Major General J. J. Reynolds assigned to the command of the Department of Arkansas and Seventh Army Corps. In consequence of the want of troops on the east side of the Mississippi and the difficulty of supplying Fort Smith, I have directed the abandonment of that post, and the concentration of all the troops of the Department of Arkansas at Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Devall's Bluff, White River, and Helena. This will furnish sufficient garrisons for these points, and enable me to detach a considerable force from that department for service in the field.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. R. S. CANBY,

Major-General, Commanding.

GENERAL ORDERS,

HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF WEST MISSOURI, Numbers 69.

New Orleans, La., November 20, 1864.

The District of West Tennessee and Vicksburg are hereby formed into one command, and Major General N. J. T. Dana assigned to the same, with headquarters at Memphis, Tenn. Major General C. C. Washburn is assigned to the command of the post and District of Vicksburg, with its present limits.

By order of Major General E. R. S. Canby:

C. T. CHRISTENSEN,

Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.

SPECIAL ORDERS,

HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF WEST MISSISSIPPI, Numbers 190.

New Orleans, La., November 20, 1864.

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3. Brigadier General M. K. Lawler, U. S. Volunteers, is hereby relieved from the command of the U. S. forces at Morganza, La., and will report without delay to Major General J. J. Reynolds, at the mouth of White River, for assignment to duty.

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By order of Major General E. R. S. Canby:

C. T. CHRISTENSEN,

Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.