HDQRS. ARMY AND DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI,
Mobile, Ala., May 19, 1865. (Received 10 p. m. 22nd.)
SECRETARY OF WAR:
There are several railroad telegraph lines of importance to us for military purposes. They cannot by put in working order without introducing material from the North. As we hold the terminus of these lines, and they are worked under military control, they can't be used to any disadvantage. I recommend that they be permitted, on the application of the military authorities, to introduce from the North such stock and material as may be required to put these lines in complete working order.
E. R. S. CANBY,
MAY 19, 1865. - For Grant to Thomas, in reference to movement of Fourth Army Corps to Division of the Southwest, see Vol. XLIX.]
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI,
New Orleans, La., May 19, 1865.
Major McKee, of the C. S. Army, escaped on the 10th instant from prison at Shreveport and arrived here this morning. He reports General Kirby Smith inclined to surrender, but entirely under the control of Generals Buckner and Walker, and the Governors of Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri, who are for fighting it out, and during the fight for securing all cotton and plunder they can put their hands on. The army is very much disaffected and only kept together by the most despotic measures. The major is sanguine of the result of an expedition even of small numbers into West Louisiana. He thinks the people and the rebel troops would receive our army with open arms. There are no rebel troops this side of Alexandria. there are about 2,500 men stationed there, and about 7,000 to 8,000 at Natchitoches. In all, the army in West Louisiana and South Arkansas numbers 40,000 men, 18,000 of whom are reliable Texas troops. There will be a meeting of the leading generals and officials with the Governor of Texas, at Marshall, Tex., in the course of this week, when the question of surrender will be finally decided upon. Red River is in a superior boating condition and up to Alexandria free of torpedoes. Beyond that place there are many and large ones. McKee has a pilot with him who claims to know all the dangerous points.
P. J. OSTERHAUS,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.
OFFICE SUPERVISING SPECIAL AGENT
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, THIRD AGENCY,
New Orleans, May 19, 1865.
Major General E. R. S. CANBY,
Commanding Department of the Gulf:
GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose you herewith for your information extracts from a communication addressed to me by Mr. Dilling-