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Operations in Trans-Mississippi Department in June, 1863.

[Our readers will be glad to see the following reports, which have never been published, and which will be followed by other reports of the Trans-Mississippi Department.]

Report of General E. Kirby Smith.

headquarters Department Trans-Mississippi, Shreveport, La., June 17, 1863.
General S. Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector-General, Richmond, Va.:
General — I have the honor to forward herewith Major-General Taylor's report of the operations of his forces in North Louisiana from the 3d to the 8th of June. I respectfully call the attention of the War Department to the ability and energy displayed by that gallant officer in the discharge of his duties as District Commander.

Major-General Walker's division, Tappan's brigade, together with Colonel Harrison's and Colonel Bartlett's commands of the cavalry, are still in the country opposite Vicksburg. Major-General Taylor, with his forces in lower Louisiana, is personally superintending the operations on this side of the Mississippi, for the relief of Port Hudson. He has been instructed to throw provisions into Port Hudson and Vicksburg whenever it is possible to do so. Under my instructions he has placed himself in communication with General Johnston, and he will use every effort to co-operate with him in his operations for the defence and relief of Vicksburg and Port Hudson.

I have the honor to be, General, your obedient servant,

E. Kirby Smith, Lieutenant-General Commanding.
The original, of which the foregoing is a copy, bears the following endorsement, to wit:

headquarters Trans-Mississippi Department, Shreveport, June 17, 1863.
E. Kirby Smith, Lieutenant-General Commanding. General Taylor's Report.
Forwarding Major-General Taylor's report of the operations of his forces in North Louisiana, from 3d to 8th June, 1863.

Received Adjutant and Inspector-General's office July 6, 1863.

Respectfully submitted to Secretary of War.

H. L. Clay, Assistant Adjutant-General. Adjutant and Inspector-General's office, July 8, 1863.
[443] Respectfully referred to the President for his information.

J. A. Seddon, Secretary of War. 10th July, 1863.

Returned to Secretary of War. The operations of General Taylor are highly commendable.

J. D.

Report of General R. Taylor.

headquarters District Western Louisiana, Alexandria, June 11, 1863.
Brigadier-General W. R. Boggs, Chief of Staff:
General — I reached this place last night, having left Richmond forty-eight hours previously. I shall leave in a few minutes for Morgan's Ferry, on the Atchafalaya river, as Banks is reported to be using the west bank of the Mississippi for the transportation of his suplies, &c. I deem it of great importance that the most vigorous movement should be made by a portion of our forces against the enemy opposite Port Hudson; and it is necessary that I should give my personal supervision to the arrangements and perhaps take command of the expedition. In my report of operations of the forces in the parishes of Madison, Tensas and Carroll, dated at Richmond on the 8th instant, I gave you the information which had been gained of the enemy's positions in that section. As it was pretty well cleared of the enemy's troops, I thought that Tappan's brigade and Harrison's cavalry force would be sufficient to open and keep up communication with Vicksburg. I instructed Brigadier-General Hebert to have a supply of beef cattle ready to swim across in order to victual the troops. If General Grant's position on the Yazoo now should be shaken or broken by General Johnston, and the enemy should retreat, as they would have to do, from a point below Vicksburg, a considerable force could be highly available along the west bank of the Mississippi; if the Yazoo is used as his line of retreat, our light batteries could only be used against his transports. I have for the present suspended the withdrawal of Walker's division, and shall hold it in its present position until the enemy's movements and the condition of affairs around Vicksburg are more fully developed. As there are troops enough in the lower portion of the State for the expedition against the enemy, who is opposite Port Hudson, it is not necessary at this moment to withdraw General Walker's division,,as I contemplated at the time of my report from Richmond. I shall either take command [444] in person of the expedition against Banks' army, opposite Port Hudson, or, if the enemy attempt to cross below Vicksburg, of the forces in Madison parish. My experience of the past few weeks satisfies me that it is necessary that I should rely upon myself not only to devise the plans, but also to execute them, in order to insure their being carried out vigorously.

On my arrival here I received several reports from Brigadier-General Monton (the substance of which have been communicated to you by Major Sarget), which are exceedingly unsatisfactory, and indicate that no movements commensurate with the forces under his command have been made, and that little activity has been displayed by that officer. While an excellent officer in the field, of great gallantry and fair qualifications, he is, I fear, unequal to the task of handling and disposing of any large body of troops; and I shall, therefore, at the earliest practicable moment, give my personal supervision to that command. From General Monton's reports I am quite in the dark as to the condition of affairs on the lower Teche, and as to the presence or absence of the enemy's troops on this side of Berwick's bay.

I have sent one of my staff officers to communicate in person with General Johnston, and instructed him to give to that officer a statement of the disposition of our forces, and ascertain in what manner I could best co-operate with him from this side of the river.

I have to-day sent a battery of light artillery to Brigadier-General Hebert, which will place twelve pieces in the command of that officer. I do not include the artillery of General Walker's division.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. Taylor, Major-General Commanding.

The foregoing letter bears the following endorsements, to wit:

headquarters Western Louisiana, Alexandria, June 11, 1863.
Major-General R. Taylor, Informing as to his movements and dispositions of forces.

Secretary of War. Special.

This report contains a clear statement of the expedition against Milliken's bend, by General Taylor, which awakened so much hope and which is here shown to have been abortive.

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