The Trans-Mississippi Department
A letter appears in the Mississippian
from Mr. J. W. Tucker
, and editor of talents and said to be a gentleman of respectable standing making some statements that, if true, merit the immediate attention of the War Department.
He commences by alluding to the reports put forth at the time Kirby Smith
was ordered to the Trans-Mississippi Department, and when he was preceded a few days by Gen. Price
, that Gen. Smith
was to have supreme command and that Gen Price
was to be assigned to active command in the field, untrammeled, to pursue the enemy when and where he could strike him to best advantage.
T. learned that upon their arrival in Arkansas
it was certained that General Holmes
was in command there, and that General Price
would be under him; and that General Smith
's presence would be required in Louisiana
P., he continues, who had restored confidence to a number of troops and recruited an army, sought permission to take them to the field; but was ordered by General Holmes
with his whole command to Jacksonport, Arkansas
, "and," says Mr.
T., "he might as well for the time be stationed in Australia
." We extract the following paragraph from his letter:
At the time Jackson
was being burnt by Grant
, and Vicksburg
was being invested, Col Clay Taylor
, of General Price
's staff, crossed the Mississippi river
, witnessed the efforts making by the enemy to reinforce and feed.
's army, and saw the practicability of cutting off supplies and reinforcements from the west bank of the river.--He made an earnest application to Holmes
to be allowed to take a few heavy guns, and station them at a point where the enemy's transport fleet could be destroyed, offering to work as a private and a gunner.
's army was doing nothing — never was doing anything, but dying, running, and being captured, as at Arkansas
But Col Taylor
's application was refused on the ground that the enemy would land and burn the country.
(They did not burn Mississippi
homes and plantations!) Gen. Price
then went in person to second Col. Taylor
's application. "I will go," said he, "and take my division with me; and let the enemy land if he dare; I'll whip him back into the river." But Holmes would not allow any thing of the kind to be attempted.
The writer further states that Gen. Holmes
had at one time 40,000 men, who were demoralized and diminished to 12,000 without striking one blow. "Now," he says, "when our fate trembles in the balance, 15,000 to 20,000 men are held in a vice; they neither help Kirby Smith
, nor capture Helena
, nor destroy the enemy's means of subsistence, nor threaten St. Louis
, nor anything else in God's world to aid our cause"
These allegations, if just, are certainly serious, and may well arouse an indignant feeling through the country.
is by many considered an effete commander, belonging to the class of officers who did mischief around this city during the terrible battles which were to decide its fate through their want of activity and promptness.
When he was sent to the trans Mississippi
the army here was certainly not at all grieved.
But if he has been the mar-plot in Arkansas
that Mr. Tucker
alleges, it were better that he had staid here The facts deserve investigation.