The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union And Confederate Armies. Series 1, Volume 41, In Four Parts. Part 4, Correspondence, etc. Page: 1,097
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CHAP. LM.] CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE. 1097
been intrusted to me, and I might content myself with having performed
my duty, but I cannot acquit myself to my own conscience without
again presenting in a condensed form and. in the plainest manner my
views on the subject:
First. If the enemy attempts to occupy Red River he should be met
on the Ouachita and Little Missouri, some fifty miles in front of Red
River. If he be not met there and defeated he will occupy the line of
the Ouachita and will have made a long stride toward the occupation of
Red River, when he will have nothing left before him but the single
District of Texas.
Second. On the line of the Ouachita there are no supplies nor are
there any in front of it. Therefore depots of supplies must be provided
in advance or our troops cannot even meet the enemy on that line.
Third. I had so disposed the troops as to have had it in my power to
use their surplus transportation to forward to the line of the Ouachita
these supplies, but the stations of the larger part of them, Forney's and
Polignac's divisions, were changed by orders from department head-
quarters and established at too great a distance from the line of the
Ouachita to admit of the useof their wagons without detaching them
to haul supplies to that line.
Fourth. To remedy this evil I can see no other way than still to use
the surplus wagons of Forney's and Polignac's divisions to haul these
supplies to the line of the Ouachita. This can be done and the surplus
wagons of Churchill's and Parsons' divisions of infantry can likewise
be used for the same purpose, and after a sufficient quantity of supplies
are thus placed in depot, one-half of all the wagons can be turned over,
if desirable to. the inspector of transportation of the District of Arkan-
sas and Louisiana. I have just received an order to turn over half of
the wagons and teams of this command, viz, Churchill's, Parsons',
and Price's divisions. If this be done it is obvious I cannot get sup-
plies to the Ouachita line.
Fifth. I applied for 1,000 negroes in September last to construct the
field-works necessary to the defense of the Ouachita line, including the
Little Missouri. I reported to General Smith that only eighty-five
negroes could be obtained, taking one-fifth of the able-bodied negroes in
each county of this district; that from 100,000 to 150,000 slaves had
gone to Texas from Arkansas and Missouri; that the planters here
would be driven off by further impressment of their negroes, wagons,
and teams, and no more crops would be pitched if that occurred, and that
the necessary impressments should be made in Texas. He replies that
the impressment of one-fifth of the slaves between the prescribed ages
was for the war, and that I might impress as many as I pleased in
Arkansas, for current purposes. This was my understanding of his
answer. I did not think the law allowed impressments of negroes
beyond one-fifth between the prescribed ages in each county, and if it
did the effect would be the same, viz, to drive the planters from Red
River and thus to lose the valley of the Red River. To remedy this I
would still respectfully suggest that the requisite negro force be
impressed from Texas by order of the general commanding the depart-
ment, or that a certain number of counties be assigned to my district
from Texas and I be allowed to impress this force, and if this is not
done, and I am expected to impress more than one-fifth as above
explained from each county, that the general commanding will give me
an order to do so, as I am sure the law is not construed by the planters
as it is by General Smith, and that many complaints will be sent up to
him of such impressments. The places to be fortified are the crossings
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United States. War Department. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union And Confederate Armies. Series 1, Volume 41, In Four Parts. Part 4, Correspondence, etc., book, 1893; Washington D.C.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth145061/m1/1097/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.