movement. At present and for the future, in all human probability, they are sufficient for defensive purposes, and to cover the State of Kansas and Missouri from any invasion, provided cavalry horses are sent immediately to remount Reynolds' cavalry regiments. He has not now enough mounted men for ordinary reconnaissances. The enemy in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Northern Texas, under the general command of Kirby Smith, are believed to number nearly 60,000 men of all arms. Some of these are doubtless good troops; many of them no doubt ill disciplined and disorderly. They are posted from Clarksville in Northern Texas (their extreme left) to Alexandria, on Red River (their extreme right). The mass of these forces occupy Camden and Fulton in Arkansas, and Shreveport and Lewisville in Louisiana. Clarksville, Shreveport, Fulton, Camden, Lewisville, and Alexandria are more or less fortified. The line of communication and supply of this whole force is through Shreveport and Marshall into Eastern Texas. This is their only practicable route into Texas; and from the counties between the Sabine and Brazos Rivers they draw their main supplies. The Missouri troops are at or near Boggy Depot, in the Chickasaw country, just west of Arkansas. I have carefully considered the suggestions in your letter of the 21st ultimo* in relation to a movement into Texas, and have studied the matter as fully as possible in the light of the information I have been able to obtain, and I respectfully submit the following plan of operations for your consideration: I propose to move in three columns from the Arkansas River toward the Red River below Fort Towson, and cross at a point northeast of Clarksville, Tex., the main column to move from Little Rock, the other two from Dardanelle and Fort Smith. The junction of the two first-named columns will be made on Red River, though they will be brought within supporting distance of each other some distance north, probably near Murfreesborough, west of Arkadelphia. Two-thirds of the entire force will be included in the column from Little Rock. Heavy demonstrations will be made in the course of the march in the direction of Camden and Fulton, so as to cover the true direction of the line of operations and the movements of the other columns. I propose, also, to make as strong a demonstration as possible with the forces to be left in Arkansas from Gaines' Landing, on the Mississippi, toward Camden. I hope to throw the main column across Red River before our true line of operation is developed to the enemy. I shall then march rapidly upon Marshall, Tex., thus turning their left completely and putting ourselves on their only line of communication with Texas. Whilst these movements are being made I propose to start a force of 4,000 or 5,000 mounted men, partly Cherokee Indians, under an active, enterprising officer, through the Indian country west of Arkansas, to drive all the stock of the hostile tribes (Choctaws and Chickasaws) to the army, and, crossing Red River at or above Preston, to sweep the northeast range of counties in Texas of cattle for the use of the army by the time it reaches Marshall. This plan of operations, if successful, will secure results completely decisive, so far as concerns the Trans-Mississippi army of the rebels in Southern Arkansas and Louisiana. They will deliver battle, possibly, though not probably, before we reach Red River. If they are able to resist at all they will, in all likelihood, do so near Marshall, Tex., as with the occupation of that point by our forces their retreat into Texas would be intercepted and their supplies cut off. I thin it, therefore, almost certain that if they deliver battle at all they will do so near
* See Part I, p. 1228.