War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 1136 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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Forts Nos. 3 and 4 and some of the rifle-pits filled up. On the same day or 29th a number of winter-quarters huts and tents were burned. Those of the Kansas Second were entirely destroyed.

Through a Federal major I learn that there are to be two regiments left to garrison the post. (The cannon from Nos. 3 and 4 were sent down the river.) Doctor M. earnestly desires that the place be occupied by our troops at once. His impression is that all will leave. My own is that perhaps two regiments will be left. Many different surmises are made by the soldiers of the army. Some say they are going to Texas, via Little Rock; others say to Virginia; others, to Tennessee. We have possession of Nashville, and I think they are ordered to Tennessee. That the greater part, if not all, of the army are leaving Fort S[mith] there is no doubt in my mind. They say Sherman has Savannah. Lincoln is certainly elected, McClellan carrying only two States-New Jersey and Kentucky. Some say the drafting has commenced. From all accounts there is much excitement and confusion in the North. I can learn nothing certain of the fighting. Families who are with me from Missouri say the copperheads and abolitionists are having bloody fights, copperheads carrying the day. I have also learned that Sherman is completely trapped in Savannah. The Federals are not jubilant by any means over the capture of S[avannah]. Some of the Federal officers (so since told) offer to bet that peace will be made by the 1st of April.

Reported no troops at Van Buren. I send you a bulletin handed me by Captain Judson. I think it was printed in Fort Smith for the edification and consolation of war-sick Federal soldiers. I trust some move may be made to take in the paltry force at Fort S[mith]. It can be done. The guns are still on Nos. 1 and 2, perhaps left for the last for safety.



[First indorsement.]


January 5, 1865.

Respectfully forwarded for information of General Maxey, with request that the letter may be forwarded to department headquarters.

The Texas brigade, near Laynesport being no doubt in camp, and in condition for instant service, might capture Fort smith and destroy the works and public property there without difficulty. There are also some 500 or 600 guerrillas about Shawneetown, well mounted, who would gladly go in.



[Second indorsement.]


Fort Towson, C. N., January 8, 1865

Respectfully forwarded.

The order herein referred to, if issued, was based on the condition of things in Tennessee and Georgia at the date of its issuance. Federal dispatches received last night lead me to conclude that if issued it will be countermanded. The evacuation of Fort Smith and Fort Gibson, however, is probable, outside of this order, for reasons which I have frequently stated. The hay of their supply trains having been de-