desire to go with General Sheridan please notify me immediately. I cannot undertake to advise you about it, but am inclined to believe that you will find in the reconstruction of civil government in the State of Arkansas, retaining the command of that department, a field better suited to your inclinations than a mere overrunning of Texas. I assume that as soon as Sheridan lands on the coast of Texas Kirby Smith, having received the news of the capture of Jeff. Davis and the complete subjugation of the Confederacy east of the Mississippi, will disband such of his army as will not go to Mexico and carry such as will go across the Rio Grande with him. Colonel Sprague is at Shreveport and it is probably be no fighting in Texas, and you will be exchanging command of a division occupying a district of Texas. Of this matter, however, you must judge yourself; only notify me of your decision at once so that I can send a trustworthy officer to take your place in case you wish to go. I wrote General Grant fully in relation to the difficulties of moving against Kirby Smith from the Arkansas River and suggested this coast expedition, which I do not doubt will accomplish the purpose with less hardship and much less expense. Whatever troops you can spare from Arkansas had best be sent in accordance with General Grant's telegram, though from your own reports and Captain Wheeler's I suppose you really have few troops fit for such service who can now be taken away. As soon as Kirby Smith retires or surrenders (one of which he must soon do) it will be necessary to occupy Shreveport, Fulton, Camden, and Alexandria, as well as the pots you now occupy. Please report fully to me as soon as you can on all these subjects.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, Mo., May 19, 1865.
Lieutenant Colonel J. T. SPRAGUE,
Chief of Staff:
(Care of Captain Foster, commanding U. S. gun-boat Lafayette, off mouth of Red River, La.)
COLONEL: Immediately upon receipt of this letter you will please return to this place, unless you have made, or are actually in process of making, arrangements with General E. Kirby Smith for the surrender of his forces. Jefferson Davis has been captured, at Irwinville, Ga., by General Wilson's cavalry, and is now on his way to Washington. Reagan, of Texas, and several of Davis' staff officers, were captured with him. You have doubtless seen General Wilson's official dispatch to the War Department, announcing the capture, with all the particulars. It was published a week since in the papers. You have also seen Canby's official report of the surrender of Lieutenant General Dick Taylor, with all the remaining rebel forces east of the Mississippi. It is not now of consequence whether General Kirby Smith surrenders or not, except in the effect upon the status of himself and his command, and upon the future of the State of Texas.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,