Out of the 5,000 men mentioned as the number I could take with me 4,000 would be armed. You are also aware that from the nature of service performed for the last twenty- six month by my old brigade, and from the fact of its living on grass alone for four month past, the most ofthe men will soon be dismounted. When they are nothing but a raid can ever mount them again. I will need no small- arm ammunition, as the 70,000 rounds obtained from the Mississippi River will be enough. Cannon ammunition as much as 200 rounds to each gun will be required. This can be sent to the Arkansas River, where I can get it.
I desire to start by the 20th of August, and if permission is granted will make my arrangements accordingly.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant.
JO. O. SHELBY,
ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 177.
Richmond, July 28, 1864.
* * * * * *
By command of the Secretary of War:
SAML. W. MELTON,
Assistant Adjutant- General.
CAMDEN, July 28, 1864.
DEAR SNEAD: This may never reach you; nevertheless, as Judge Norris is going across the river, I venture it. We have no especial army news. Still inactive, and no prospect of moving. General Smith, however, has at length returned to Shreveport, having reached there last Saturday. marmaduke (major- general, we understand) has been absent on sick leave for about fifty days, Greene being in command. Shelby is the only active men I know of in the district or even in the department at this moment. He keeps scrouging them all the time and is always successful. If th e Bonapartian test, "what has he done," should be applied, does he not deserve a major- general's promotion more than some who have received it! It would seem so to me, one of the laity. Indeed, is there any better standard by which to measure military men than the Napoleonic one just cited! Apply it to some who have received promotion and how would they appear!
It appears that Mrs. Snead was subject to an examination by the military minions in Saint Louis. A Cairo paper lately received here contained a sketch of it. I did not see the paper, but the general gave me an account of it. He was highly pleased with Mrs. Snead's conduct. He said her answers showed a frankness, a promptitude, appropriateness, and truthfulness that highly delighted him. Mrs. Snead positively refused to take the oath, saying that she would never thus dishonor a cause for which her husband had once and again periled his