each man loaded down with arms, and I am informed that he expressed openly his intention to avoid the commander of the district and go into Texas at all hazards, and I fear he has already crossed at Fulton and gone beyond my reach.
I fear that such arms as remain will be sold to the citizens, which has been done to a very great extent in Texas by troops leaving Arkansas for Texas. I think there is a law by Congress against this, forbidding the purchase of arms or accouterments by citizens of soldiers, and respectfully suggest that an order from department headquarters giving information of this law might do good. It would be well that it contain a provision also that no soldier should have a furlough who did not have in his possession all the arms and accouterments that had ever been issued to him, or could not account satisfactorily through his officers to the district commander for the same; also that the sum of $300, about the market price of a good arm, should be charged against the soldier for losing his arms.
Under these circumstances it is obvious many thousand arms will be required at once in this district; some few may yet be obtained from Selma if $15,000 or $20,000 could be at once sent from department headquarters to Major Burton, chief quartermaster District of Arkansas, to pay the cost of transportation. It is hoped also that arms in large quantities are arriving in Texas, but of this I have no information. It will be seen by the above statement that the Texas cavalry ought not to be withdrawn, as it would leave but one brigade (Steele's), which is fully occupied in protecting cotton and preventing raids in the river counties, and I have, therefore, only the Arkansas and Missouri infantry, numbering about 4,000 men, and no other cavalry except the Texas cavalry and Logan's regiment, which is now at Walnut Hill broken down and recruiting and a few companies of State cavalry,under Newton, recently turned over. I am an anxious as any one can be to save the corn of Red River, but do not see how I can dispense with this cavalry until Price is fit for duty.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. B. MAGRUDER,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS,
Camden, November 26, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel W. A. ALSTON,
COLONEL: I am informed by Colonel Logan that a few days previous to his arrival in the vicinity of Little Rock a cavalry force from that place had moved down to the Saline River, evidently with the intention of crossing, but finding the river so swollen that they could not cross this force returned to Little Rock. From information gained there Colonel Logan thinks that the Federals will send out a raiding party, as soon as the river can be crossed, to burn the stores at Arkadelphia. I have given this information to the commanding officer at Arkadelphia and directed him to send it to the commanding officers of all cavalry in that section of country, and have cautioned them and directed him to be on the qui vive. Will you please give the necessary information to Colonel Hardeman. The general may think it best to send some additional force to Arkadelphia. I have written to General Steele to send