HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS,
Washington, October 30, 1864.
Brigadier General W. R. BOGGS,
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I have received the letter of Lieutenant-General Buckner, referred to me by General Smith, stating that a raid was expected on Alexandria from Natchez. I think this very probable, as I at the same time received information perfectly reliable that Brigadier-General Dennis' brigade of Federal troops, which is a part of the division sent from Morganza, had returned from Memphis, where it was sent a few days since, and had gone up White River to join the other brigade which has been some time at Little Rock; also that a large force of infantry and cavalry had left Little Rock and vicinity, and taken up the line of march on the Fort Smith road; also that a strong force of cavalry had left Little Rock on a raid via Pine Bluff. Designs of the enemy, I think, are these: First, to send troops to Fort Smith to meet Price, when he shall return from Missouri, which is expected by the enemy will be via Fort Smith or vicinity. Second, to supply the place of these troops by those mentioned from Memphis. Third, to cause troops to be sent from Arkansas to Louisiana by a raid from Natchez; and fourth, to make a raid on my right flank to cover these movements in my front. The Nineteenth Corps spoken of as expected every hour at the mouth of White River from below, is only, I think, the remainder of that corps left at or near Morganza. The enemy cannot expect to accomplish anything important in Louisiana, desolated as it is, and the rivers low; the movement there is obviously a feint. His present object is doubtless to capture General Price's force if he be compelled to leave Missouri. I think, therefore, we should concentrate on Little Rock all, or nearly all, of our strength and take it, and then be guided by circumstances, or at least that this movement toward Fort Smith be defeated, and that portion of his army be destroyed or captured. All this, however, requires a concentration of our forces here, as the enemy has concentrated his or a large portion of it.
I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,
J. B. MAGRUDER,
ARMY HEADQUARTERS, Numbers 32.
Camp Numbers 56, October 30, 1864.
I. Colonel Freeman with his brigade will move to-morrow morning to Northeast Arkansas, where he will take the most stringent measures to collect all stragglers and deserters from the army, irrespective of what command they may belong to, and also use every exertion to put an end to jayhawking. He will report with his command to his division commander, at Washington, Ark., or wherever he may be, on or before December 15 next.
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By order of Major-General Price:
L. A. MACLEAN,