War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0685 Chapter VIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

utive of the Washington Government, the probability that serious and perhaps long-continued hostilities will ensue is greatly increased.

If the war shall be commenced with the spirit which seems to animate our enemies, there is every reason to anticipate the operations of both the belligerent will be conducted on a much more imposing scale than this continent has ever witnessed; and I may add that the general opinion preponderates strongly in that direction.

While this Government has an unfaltering confidence in the means and resources, pecuniary, moral, and military, of the Confederate States, as they no exist, to defend themselves against all assaults and to repel all their enemies, it yet by no means undervalues the assistance which it is in the power of the border slave States to render; and of these latter there is no one to which the people of this Confederacy have looked with more undoubting confidence for cordial sympathy and support than the State of Arkansas.

It is not possible yet to state absolutely that this Government will be in condition to need forces drawn from any State not in the Confederacy, but it is extremely probable that in the event of war (now, in its widest sense, apparently inevitable), which shall continue through the approaching summer, a brigade organized in conformity to the act of Congress "to provide for the public defense," will be gladly accepted at an early day in the next fall-say about the middle or last of August. Such a military organization, if required, as I think it will be, would be composed of course, as similar organizations will be, from the several Confederate States. It would be expected to elect its own officers, but would be subject to the control of such field officers as the President of the Confederate States might place over it.

All the signs of the times, as I view them, so conclusively favor the belief that war in its sternest phase is upon us, that I have not hesitated to intimate how strongly we rely on your State for active co-operation in what is, after all, a common defense. That she will prove true to herself, and so prove true to this Confederacy, I never for a moment have questioned.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. P. WALKER.

WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,

Montgomery, April 17, 1861.

His Excellency Governor RECTOR, &c.:

SIR: War existing between this Government and that at Washington, forced by the perfidious conduct of the last, preparations are being made on both sides for the most active hostilities. Under these circumstances it is not improbable that forces will be sent from the North along the Ohio and Mississippi River to burn our cities and devastate our country. It becomes, therefore, the imperative duty of this Government to guard against these possible results by every means in their power. The defenses of the Mississippi require the erection of at least four additional batteries at eligible points along the bansk of that river. It is proposed a construct one of these batteries at or near Helena, in the State of Arkansas, and I trust your excellency will grant permission for the work to be done. I have the less hesitation in making this application to you, because I feel assured Arkansas will be identified with the States of this Confederacy, and that the danger which threatens is common to her as well as to ourselves. It cannot be that Mississippi,