War of the Rebellion: Serial 102 Page 0052 Chapter LX. LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI.

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Marshall. If we are successful in these preliminary operations I propose to move from Marshall in the direction of Washington, Tex. (on the Brazos River), via the towns of Henderson, Rusk, Crockett, Madison, and Huntsville. This movement threatens Galveston, Houston, and Austin, and until we leave Madison and Huntsville it cannot be known upon which of these points our movement is directed. As soon as we reach Washington communication will be opened with the coast at Galveston, from which place there is railroad and river communication to Washington. The mouth of Brazos

River is connected by a short canal with Galveston Bay, and the Brazos is navigated by steamer to Washington and above. By occupying Washington in force, and Galveston and Houston on one side, La Grange and Austin City on the other, we completely possess Texas, even though there should be a considerable force of the enemy west of that line. This plan of operations, if successful, will accomplish complete results, and I know no other which will be likely to do so. It would be necessary to carry supplies enough to reach Marshall (say forty days'). From that point we could live on the country. Arkansas has been so completely devastated, according to the information given me by General Reynolds, that it will not furnish any supplies whatever. Two results, therefore, will be gained by a movement so far toward the west as Fort Towson, aside from the purely military success it promises. One is that we shall traverse an open, practicable prairie country, and the other that we shall find plenty of grazing to subsist our animals. For such a movement as this there ought to be sent me about 30,000 additional men, Western men, accustomed to make long and rapid marches, and to live without grumbling or discouragement on short rations. Our trains, though they would necessarily be large, would not be a serious impediment to the march, because of the open, practicable country traversed by our line of march and the grazing it would sumals. Several other plans of operations have occurred to me, but none of which promise so complete and conclusive a result. The only objection to the plan proposed would be that we could not well march from Little Rock before June 1, because, depending as we shall do on the country for supplies, it would be desirable to wait until the corn and wheat crops in Eastern Texas were sufficiently advanced, and because the streams in Arkansas and Texas are all high and difficult to cross in May. We could attempt again the movement up Red River, or a movement from Vicksburg along the railroad toward the Upper Red River; but the result would only be to drive the enemy before us into Texas, and the transfer of troops from Arkansas River for such a movement would uncover Northern Arkansas and Missouri. From the coast of Texas, unless Galveston and Houston were first captured, the march would be equally long, and more difficult to make, assuming, as I think would be the case, that the main body of the enemy would continue to occupy Louisiana and Eastern Texas. Even from Galveston the country would for some distance be found very difficult, unless we possessed the Brazos River and Buffalo Bayou to Houston, and the railroad to that place, with the boats and cars necessary to use them. A movement by way of Galveston would of course deprive us of every hope of using river or railroad, until the means to do so could be supplied from the North. In the movement our trains would probably be kept considerably west of us (on our right flank), and would traverse a country mostly prairie and with abundant grazing. The column from Fort Smith is designed for an escort to the bulk of our trains as far as Red River. If you approve the plan of operations, it would perhaps be