War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 1026 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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when the impossibility of supporting cavalry in sufficient force to protect the cotton is made manifest in that region, and the cavalry which is at Warren and Mount Elba, and obliged to be withdrawn for the same reason to points south of the Ouachita River, leaving only scouting parties in the counties south of the Arkansas and bordering on the Mississippi River, it is my duty to represent the facts and to ask whether this cotton thus exposed shall be burned or not and to know whether officers of the line in that part of the country are expected to exercise any control over the cotton whatever. Under all circumstances I think the cotton should be burned at once, the cotton regulations recently made by the United States Government affording us a very remote hope of supplies for the army from that quarter, and securing to the United States (they paying us in greenbacks) two-thirds of all the cotton which may thus be induced to enter their lines, and which will find its way in the place of specie to their creditors aborad. If the reports sent in be true that 1,500 of the enemy's cavalry have landed at Gaines' Landing it may not be possible to burn all the cotton in that region. That the enemy has not taken it before is that their troops have ben occupied elsewhere, for during last winter, an from time to time for months together, it has been equally exposed, as now, to capture. The reports of the number of the enemy on the river are perhaps exaggerated, but there is no reason why they should not be placed there if thought proper. They difficulty of transporting cotton over bad roads in winter may probably save a large portion of it during that season. As this matter is now, I understand, under the control of an officer of the Treasury Department, I would prefer acting under instructions from department headquarters, as I desire not to interfere but to sustain any course which may be adopted by the latter, whether in accordance with my own views or not.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. B. MAGRUDER,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS,

Camden, November 2, 1864.

Major General T. J. CHURCHILL,

Commanding District of Arkansas, Lewisville:

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 1st instant and to say that the necessary instructions have been given to post the two squadrons of cavalry as directed, as well as the two regiments of infantry. Gause's brigade of infantry is at Princeton under orders to remain there. Faries' battalion of artillery has been ordered to take post at Walnut Hill, and Blocher's battalion has been ordered to the Cut-Off, eight miles from Lewisville. Lesueur's battery, Parsons' division, will remain here. No application has been made for forage by him.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ED. P. TURNER,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

(Similar dispatch to Major George A. Magruder, jr.)