were necessarily modified by the instructions from General Bragg. The troops upon which I chiefly relied were ordered east of the Mississippi. The only feasible mode of resuming the offensive with those left at my disposal was an expedition into Missouri.
On the 4th of August instructions were given General Price to move with the cavalry of his command into Missouri. He crossed the Arkansas with about 3,000 cavalry, effected a junction with Shelby in Northeast Arkansas, and with the addition of the command of that general, marched into Missouri with some 12,000 men. I had no expectation that General Price would winter in Missouri, taking with him a force, most of which was available for no other purpose, and only reducing the real effective force of the department by between 3,000 and 4,000 men. He drew the Sixteenth Army Corps (A. J. Smith's) from Memphis, and Grierson's cavalry from Mississippi, leaving Forrest free to operate on the communications of the Federal army in Northern Georgia, compelled the concentration in Missouri of 40,000 or 50,000, and diverted re-enforcements which would otherwise have been sent to General Sherman or left to operate against Mobile, besides destroying large amounts of property valuable to the enemy. I consider General Price as having effected the objects for which he was ordered into Missouri and the expedition a success. I have the honor to inclose his report.* Since it was written, I am informed he has crossed south of the Arkansas with his command largely increased.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, Your Excellency's most obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
CHARLOTTESVILLE, November 21, 1864.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War, Richmond:
SIR: It was my desire when in Richmond to invite your attention to a subject which I had been at pains to investigate when on the Mississippi River, but no opportunity presented itself. I refer to the practicability of crossing troops from the trans-Mississippi. After a thorough reconnaissance of the ground and inspection of the difficulties to be overcome, I am entirely satisfied that the infantry can be crossed. The details of my plan will be cheerfully laid before you, and for that purpose I will return to Richmond at any moment you may intimate a wish to see me.#
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
SMITH P. BANKHEAD.
HEADQUARTERS CHURCHILL'S DIVISION,
Camp Lee, November 21, 1864.
I. The attention of the brigade commanders and all officers and agents of the Government in this division is called to circular letter from headquarters Labor Bureau, District of Arkansas, headquarters
*See November 2, Part I, p. 623
#Some personal matter omitted.