December 4, 1863,
Thos. C. Reynolds to General S. Price
MARSHALL, TEX., December 4, 1863.
General S. PRICE, Camp Bragg, Ark.:
MY DEAR GENERAL: Your favor of the 5th ultimo reached me on the 7th, and various circumstances have prevented my answering it sooner. Finding it impossible to obtain a house in or near Shreveport, or a healthy location for my camp, I had sent it on the 5th toward Marshall, designing to follow it on the 7th, but your letter determined me to remain. By one of those accidents, to which it is my luck to be especially liable, I had scarcely separated myself from my staff before I became overwhelmed with business so as to have no time to answer letters. Quantrill's case, the applications of Brinker and McArthur to enlist the men he brought out, the business connected with Shelby's expedition, and several other matters of Missourians desiring introductions, &c., to General Smith, occupied all my time, unaided as I was by any of my officers, and also feeling, like most men who have passed their fortieth year, a growing disinclination for the labor of penmanship, and especially of recording. Since my arrival here I have been occupied by the labor of seeking quarters and other indispensable business. I trust these circumstances will at least partially excuse my seeming neglect. But if I have been inattentive to answering your letter, I have not been so as to its requests. I conversed with General Smith on the subject of an attempt to recapture Little Rock and found him anxious to do so. General Holmes was also urging it. Affairs in Southern Louisiana then looked menacing, but have since improved. General Smith determined to send for General Holmes to consult on the subject of advancing on Little Rock, and after seeing General Holmes at Shreveport he determined to visit the army of Arkansas. This he has since started to do, and I presume that ere this reaches you, you will have seen him and unfolded your views to him. I earnestly hope that he will find affairs there in such a condition that he can authorize a forward movement. As you are doubtless aware, I have appointed Col. W. P. Johnson C. S. Senator. I hope the publicity unavoidably given to the fact will not lead the enemy to any greater exertions to capture him in his passage across the Mississippi, or impede his exchange as an army officer should he be captured. I trust you will consider the appointment a good one. Senator Johnson, of Arkansas, and Judge Watkins urged me to press you to accept the position. They were obviously biased by their desire to relieve you of your disagreeable position with General Holmes. Indeed, Senator Johnson frankly avowed that desire as one of his main reasons for the advice he gave me. I deemed it unnecessary to inform those gentlemen that I felt confident of the success of Colonel Thornton, whom I sent to Richmond in July last, in obtaining the transfer of General Holmes from this department in a manner honorable and gratifying to him and his friends; but I told them that no Governor of Missouri would be doing his duty in tempting you to leave the army, even if you desired it, and that no personal friend, after a mature consideration of all our circumstances, would advise you to do it, especially for a temporary senatorial appointment. They seemed convinced my view was correct, and I found Major Snead and Major Cabell to agree with me.
Hoping to hear often from you, I remain, my dear general, very truly, yours,
THOS. C. REYNOLDS.
P. S.--I return you my thanks for a copy of Colonel Shelby's report sent me by your excellent adjutant, Major Maclean, on the 6th ultimo.
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