furloughs saved us from certain detection. After some further difficulties and dangers we arrived safe on the bank of the Mississippi twenty-five miles above the mouth of Red River on the 7th of May. Here my eyes were gladdened by a sight of our glorious star spangled banner. We had made a journey of 400 miles in a canoe in the short space of eight days, an subsisted on a very small allowance of parched corn, moldy bread, and rancid bacon. I have made thirty-seven forays or scouts singly into the enemy's lines and met every danger, but for suffering, anxiety, and torturing suspense this last long adventure has eclipsed any of my former ones. I append such items of interest as I have enabled to obtain and also a statement of certain commands. These may be implicitly relied upon.
In the county of Marion, but more especially that of Cherokee, are very extensive iron-works. Arrangements are being made to cast heavy ordnance at the latter works. A manufactory for percussion caps has been established at Houston, Tex. The machinery was built and put in operation by a mechanic from a Northern arsenal. A large powder-mill and armory has been established at Marshall, Tex. Several large cotton factories have been put in operation near Houston, Tex. At Shreveport a laboratory for the fabrication of ammunition has been established on a large scale; also an arsenal for the complete equipment of arms of all grades. There are no works in the Trans-Mississippi Department for the manufacture of heavy ordnance. Northing larger than 12-pounders have a yet been attempted, so far as I can learn. There is reported to be but twenty-one heavy guns in the Trans-Mississippi Department. Of these eleven, viz, two 11-inch, one 10-inch, two 8-inch, and six 24 and 32 pounders (the latter rifled) are now at Alexandria, the remainder at Galveston. Some of the guns at Alexandria were transported on wheels from Galveston at an immense expenditure of labor and time. The resources of the Trans-Mississippi are as follows: Arkansas is literally starved out. There is not enough to feed the people on the route between Little Rock and Shreveport, via either Camden or Washington. Louisiana is better supplied; still an army could by no means subsist off the country, and it is problematical whether a small column of cavalry would not starve their horses on a scout of 250 miles in any direction. Texas is full to repletion. Cattle, hogs, and horses, immense granaries of corn, and abundant forage may be found within 100 miles of the Arkansas or Louisiana borders. The people throughout Arkansas and Louisiana are intensely hostile to the Federal Government. In Texas they are more moderate. They have so far lost confidence in the Confederacy that all trade has been on a specie basis for six months past. The people of the entire Trans-Mississippi infinitely prefer an alliance with a foreign power to a return to old ties. France has the first choice. As to the numbers and conditions of the forces at present west of the Mississippi, I would estimate them at 58,000, with 120 pieces of artillery, well served. I have seen sixteen batteries of field artillery, of four guns each. The guns of the artillery are 6-pounders (old pattern), part smooth-bore, balance rifled, 12-pounder howitzers and several rifled 10-pounder Parrotts. Ammunition plenty and of good quality.
The infantry are we armed with Enfield, Austrian, and Springfield rifles, and the small-arms, equipments, and ammunition are in every respect good. The men are for most part badly clothed, but their drill is superb. The cavalry, as a general rule, are very badly mounted and indifferently armed with Sharps rifles and Austrian and Enfield
26 R R-VOL XLVIII, PT II.