crossings of the Little Missouri. If the necessary negro labor cannot be obtained you must employ troops for the purpose; they are already so occupied in the District of Western Louisiana. Every exertion is being made to procure slave labor under General Order 32, 1864, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office. Its operation is slow and difficult. General Walker was called upon to forward 500 negroes to mandant of conscripts has been urged to increased energy in enforcing the enrollment of negroes. If you desire it I will direct the general of reserves in the District of Arkansas to receive instructions from you in regard to the employment of his force in the collection of slave labor. The counties of Texas adjoining Red River (Marion, Davis, Bowie, Red River, Titus, Lamar, &c.) furnished one-third of their slave labor under a call from General McCulloch, one year since, which is scattered all through the State in the service of the Government. These counties cannot be further drawn upon, or the slave labor there would be placed at your disposal. You are referred to section 5 of the instructions contained in General Orders, Numbers 138, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, 1863, and I would suggest that you consult with the Governor of the State and endeavor to procure if, only for a limited number of days, additional labor, beyond the one-fifth required from the planters. I have urged the importance of collecting depots of supplies in the vicinity of the Ouachita. I know the embarrassments which you labor under, and that your difficulties have been greatly increased by the withdrawal from your district of the transportation carried into Missouri by General Price. The large trains accompanied without my knowledge or consent, and I feel satisfied that you would never have sanctioned their removal from Arkansas had you arrived at district headquarters before the expedition started. Forney's and Polignac's division belong to General Buckner's command, and were ordered to your support in the contemplated movements against Steele. The command in lower Louisiana is threatened, and during the winter the valley of Red River is the only practicable line of invasion north of Texas. The troops going into winter quarters it was proper that those divisions should return to Louisiana where they could be in supporting distance of the forces on lower Red River. The transportation could certainly not be used in hauling supplies to Camden when ordered to Louisiana, and when not used in hauling for themselves should be placed where they could be recuperated. The department of field transportation has on hand and is fabricating a large supply of wagons and harness. If you could furnish mules from your district a train could be immediately organized and turned over to you. You are referred to General Orders, Numbers 29, Trans-Mississippi Department, 1864. and to the instructions given the district commander in relation to mules in possession of cavalry soldiers. Possibly some mules may now be found in the cavalry which could be made available for the Government. Arrangements have been made for obtaining mules in Texas and Mexico, but considerable delay must occur before the desired number can be procured. Instructions that one-half the transportation of troops going into winter quarters should be placed in infirmary camps were given for the purpose of recruiting the animals and repairing the wagons for service in the spring. Authority was given Major Burton to procure arms east of the Mississippi River. An order conferring additional power is herewith inclosed.* You will have to depend on this source
*Not found as an inclosure.