Today in History:

93 Series I Volume XLI-I Serial 83 - Price's Missouri Expedition Part I


Trans- Mississippi Department of that portion of the troops upon which my dependence is placed for either offensive or defensive operations. Should the enemy in force renew the campaign west of the Mississippi River, in the reduced condition of my command, I will be powerless to oppose his advance. I shall push a cavalry force into Missouri; but since the withdrawal of Lieutenant General Taylor and the infantry of his command, I will be too weak for prosecuting a campaign in the Arkansas Valley. major- Generals Walker's and Polignac's divisions and Brigadier-General Thomas' brigade (six brigades of infantry) cross the Mississippi River under command of General Taylor.

I am, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,




AUGUST 8, 1864.

Secretary of War for attention, particularly to the recommendation in regard to Major- General Buckner.


[Inclosure N. 7.]

Shreveport, La., July 31, 1864.

Lieutenant- General TAYLOR,


GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 29th instant. The order from Richmond directing the movement of an infantry column under your command to the east bank of the Mississippi was evidently made under a great pressure upon our armies in that department. I fear the practicability of the movement, yet no efforts must be spared in securing its execution. You must yourself in person superintend the arrangements and accompany the column. You can, for the purpose of communicating with Lieutenant-General Lee, in Department of Mississippi, and with the authorities in Richmond, send any members of your staff immediately across the Mississippi, but for the better execution of the movement should remain yourself with the troops. I have ordered a train of twenty- five pontoons to Alexandria. Each boat is prepared with oars and oarlocks and has a capacity for transporting twenty- five men. These, with the eighteen boats at Alexandria, which General Walker has been directed to prepare in the same way, will give you some forty- five boats and will admit the crossing of about 1,000 men at a trip. Other skiffs, barges, and boats amy be prepared and collected by you without delaying the expedition. You will consult with General Walker, now commanding the District of Louisiana, who has been ordered to give you every assistance and facility at his command. He has suggested the point of crossing, but I will leave its final determination to your own judgment. The disposition of the cavalry under his command can be determined between you, so as t best secure the success of the crossing. I do not believe that the diversion proposed in the direction of New Orleans is judicious. It would throw a body of cavalry into a distant and sickly country where their services are needed for operations in Arkansas and Missouri. I would rather suggest the employment of that force, in connection with artillery, to hold positions on he river above and below the point selected for crossing. It will be impossible to keep the movement secret, the dispatches have passed through so many different hands and officers. Your calculations must be based