478 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. [CHAP. XLVI.
and giving the results of the recent campaign undertaken in this
department. Major Bryan is an influential and leading citizen of
his State, with her interests and those of the country at heart. He
has more than once rendered me 'valuable assistance in matters re-
quiring judgment and ability in the administration of the depart-
ment. Major Bryan will bring certain subjects to Your Excellency's
notice requiring prompt attention. I cannot too strongly urge the
necessity for better sustaining my administration. A change in the
command of those districts is demanded by the best interests of the
.country. General Price's name and popularity would be a strong
element of success in an advance on Missouri, but as he is neither
capable of organizing, disciplining, nor operating an army, he should
not be left in command of the district of an army in the field. I am
greatly in want of good subordinates and of a capable chief of staff,
and with the responsibilities and multifarious duties devolving upon
mp and without proper support I almost despair of success. I shall,
however, struggle on earnestly and conscientiously, begging. Your
Excellency to bear With me and to assist me, and trusting in that
Providence who orders all things for our good.
I have the honor to be, respectfully and faithfully, your obedient
E. KIRBY SMITH,
His Excellency President DAVIS.
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, June 11, 1864.
SIR : The history of the late campaign-in. this department will be
made and forwarded as soon as the reports of the district command-
ers in Arkansas and Louisiana have been received. I desire, how-
ever, for the information of Your Excellency, to anticipate this report
by a statement of facts bearing generally upon the campaign. Soon
after my arrival in this department I became convinced that the
valley of Red River was the only practicable line of operations by
which the enemy could penetrate the country. This'fact was well
understood and appreciated by their generals.
In the latter part of August I received information that a formid-
able expedition was preparing under the auspices of Generals Grant
and Banks. The main advance would be up Red River Valley,
with subordinate columns moving from Helena and Berwick Bay.
The defeat of Rosecrans at Chickamauga frustrated this plan. Gen-
eral Grant, with the larger portion of his command, was drawn to
Tennessee. The columns from Helena and Berwick Bay moved, with
what success has already been reported to the Department.
Feeling assured that the Red River expedition, so suddenly inter-
rupted, would be renewed at some future day, I addressed myself to
the task of meeting it with the slender means at my disposal. For-
tifications were directed on the lower Red River. Shreveport and
Camden were fortified, and works were ordered on the Sabine and
the crossings of upper Red River. Depots were established on the
shortest lines of communication between the Red River Valley and
the troops serving in Arkansas and Texas. Those commands were
directed to be held ready to move with little delay, and every prepa-
ration was made in advance for accelerating a concentration, at all