War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 1134 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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vicinity of the Cut-Off, that the soldiery of this division are committing many acts of depredation and violence. So great has been the confidence reposed by him in the honor and integrity of the men and officers of his command, that when the above-mentioned complaints were first laid before him, he could not be convinced that any of them would be guilty of the conduct alleged, and therefore took no steps to confine them more closely to their encampments. Facts have, however, come to his knowledge which prove too clearly that the perpetrators of these outrages belong to this command; and he now calls upon its members to come forward and repay his confidence and kindness by making known the aiders and abettors in all acts of violence of which they may be cognizant, in order that the villainy of a few may be severely punished and this command relieved of the stigma thereby attached to it. Should, however, no response be made to the above invitation and these outrages be continued, prompt measures will be taken to discover and punish those committing them, and the whole command will, by strict guards, be confined to narrow limits, that the citizens, on whom depends as much as upon the troops the success of our cause, may be protected in the enjoyment of their rights.

By command of Major-General Churchill:


Captain and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.


Shreveport, December 31, 1864.

Major-General MAGRUDER,

Commanding District of Arkansas:

GENERAL: I am directed by the general commanding to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 20th instant, concerning the reorganization of General Price's command, and to say that the first plan appears to be the best, but requires explanation concerning the organization of Colonel Brooks' brigade. The brigade you propose is not the one raised by Colonel Brooks, and to which the general proposed assigning him and contains a Missouri (Slayback's) command. It should consist entirely of Arkansas troops. As the President has recommended legislation upon the subject of consolidation of small commands, General Smith does not desire to anticipate this legislation, and does not approve of the consolidation proposed. Webb's, Kidder's, and Roberts' unattached companies do not appear in the returns of the department and before assigning them as cavalry he desires to be fully informed as to the manner of their organization and the duties upon which they have been engaged. The commands recruited in Missouri will have to be organized according to law before they can be recognized or formed into brigades, and he insists that they shall not be formed from deserters, absentees, or by transfers. When regiments properly recruited have not a sufficient number of men to be received, they can be combined with the consent of all concerned. When they decline to combine for completing the organization they will have to be assigned to fill up the infantry regiments of the Missouri division. In regard to the independent companies of Webb, Kidder, and Roberts, which are by plan first attached to Cabell's brigade, they should be inspected, and if properly and legally organized should be attached to some battalion of Arkansas troops to complete a regimental organization. The general commanding objects to retaining independent companies and