a large increase of horses, and unless they can be procured, as contemplated, I fear the public interest will suffer. Let me urge you to afford every facility in your power in carrying out the enterprise of General Lawton.
Very respectfully, yours, &c.,
HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE WEST,
Montgomery, Ala., December 2, 1864.
General E. Kirby Smith,
Commanding, Trans-Mississippi Department:
GENERAL: You are probably aware that the Army of Tennessee, under General J. B. Hood, has penetrated into Middle Tennessee as far as Columbia, and that the enemy is concentrating all his available forces, under General Thomas, to oppose him. It is even reliably reported that the forces under Generals A. J. Smith in Missouri and Steele in Arkansas have been sent to re-enforce Thomas. It becomes then absolutely necessary to insure the success of Hood, either that you should send him two or more divisions, or that you should at once threaten Missouri in order to compel the enemy to recall the re-enforcements he is sending to General Thomas. I beg to urge upon you prompt and decisive action. The fate of the country may depend upon the result of Hood's campaign in Tennessee. Sherman's army has lately abandoned Atlanta on a venturesome march across Georgia to the Atlantic coast about Savannah. His object is, besides the destruction of public and private property, probably to re-enforce Grant and compel Lee to abandon Richmond. It is hoped that Sherman may be prevented from effecting his object; but, should it be otherwise, the success of Hood in Tennessee and Kentucky would counterbalance the moral effect of the loss of Richmond. Hence the urgent necessity of either re-enforcing Hood or making a diversion in Missouri in his favor.
Hoping that you may give us the desired assistance, I remain, your obedient servant,
G. T. BEAUREGARD,
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT
SHREVEPORT, DECEMBER 2, 1864.
Commanding District of Texas, &c.:
GENERAL: You have been previously advised by a copy of a dispatch from General Taylor that a naval expedition was fitting out at New Orleans for Galveston. Information is now received, through the agents of the Secret Service, that an attack is to be made on Sabine Pass. The commanding general directs that you make every preparation by the disposition of your forces and the collection of supplies to be enabled to meet the attack at either point. Wharton's cavalry has been ordered to Texas to be ready to support either General Buckner or yourself as events may require. A copy of a letter* to General Buckner is enclosed for your information.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. F. BELTON,
* Not found as an enclosure.