opposite the Indian Territory without the assent of General Maxey, whom you should consult, as the supplies for his district are drawn from that section. The only way to prevent the evils you apprehend is to dismount the cavalry as quickly as possible.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. F. BELTON.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS,
Washington, December 13, 1864.
Brigadier General W. R. BOGGS,
Chief of Staff, &c.:
GENERAL: I have received your communication of the 9th. I will at once organize these brigades as follows-Shelby's, Jackman's, and Cabell's: I will place General Fagan in command of cavalry and General Price in command of Parsons' infantry division. This I intended doing before the reception of your letter. The general commanding seems not to be aware that the larger portion of General Price's command is still absent. Acting in accordance with the views of the general commanding to organize at once, we shall probably lose a large portion of the horses, mules, and arms of those absent and to the infantry service the men who might otherwise be sent to it. It is the opinion of Generals Price, Fagan, Shelby, and myself that these troops should be got in hand before any dismounting takes place. This will take at least twenty days from this date. To avoid the consumption of corn in this district I have requested permission from department headquarters to send General Price's command to Clarksville but up to this time have received no answer. I have also requested the use of Gano's brigade temporarily to enforce my orders. My present headquarters at Washington are as convenient to General Price's command as they can be, a large portion of that command being at El Dorado. I will proceed promptly to any point where my presence may be required.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, general, your most obedient servant,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
Major-General, Commanding District of Arkansas.
DECEMBER 15, 1864.
P. S. - Though it will require the time mentioned (twenty days) to get the absentees in hand, yet under the stringency of General Smith's orders, and to save corn by dismounting those who are to be dismounted as soon as possible, I shall commence the reorganization as soon after the 25th as I can receive reports of those commands which have been furloughed by General Price to that date, and I can have the necessary papers printed for the impressment of the horses, saddles, bridles, and arms, the private property of the men. I am informed that many of these furloughed men will not return at all. A plot was reported last night in which officers and soldiers were engaged to desert their commands and go north of the Arkansas River. I have stationed troops to intercept the conspirators, with orders to shoot them down, but do not know if my orders will be carried out in good faith by those whose duty it is thus made to fire.
J. B. MAGRUDER,