Harper: By law the horses of artillery companies are paid for by the Government. No allowance is made for their use and risk, as in the case of cavalry. These horses are therefore to be paid for as ordered by you, and they thus become the property of the Government. This payment is to be made to those who furnished them, as borne on the muster rolls, according to the valuation. The amount paid by the Governor of Mississippi will form the subject of settlement between that State and the General Government, although in strictness the payment, having been erroneously made by the Governor, does not constitute a legal claim against the Confederacy.
2nd. The sum of $5,000 has been placed to your credit in Nashville for secret-service money, as requested in your letter of the 8th instant.
3rd. I shall to-morrow order you a further remittance of $16,000 for secret service. You will thus have it in your power to make the arrangements you suggest about having leading articles inserted in certain influential journals. Of the propriety of making this expenditure I leave you to judge at your discretion. I know you will use the money to the best of your judgment for the public service, and I will not undertake to advise you at this distance, confident as I am that your own judgment is much more likely to be correct than any that I could form.
I have been very much puzzled by a dispatch received from you on the 20th instant in these words:
The enemy are crossing Green River at many points in overwhelming numbers. Their bridges are laid. I cannot meet with more than 10,000 men between Green River and Nashville. Can Floyd be sent on here?
I contented myself with responding by telegraph that Floyd would be with you by the 25th, but I cannot for my life understand the statement about your force. Your letter of the 16th announced your effective force to be 15,500. Your return to the Adjutant-General, dated the 12th, I think (I have not the paper before me), stated your forces under Hardee, Buckner, Clark, and others, not including any of Polk's or Zollicoffer's command, at about 17,000 present, and this was prior to the arrival of the Mississippians under General R. Davis. There must surely be an error in the dispatch, but it has made me very uneasy, and the President and General Cooper are equally at a loss to make out how the matter stands.
Zollicoffer reports himself in almost undisputed possession of the banks of the Cumberland from the fork near Somerset all the way down to the Tennessee line and seems able to guard your right flank, so that your front alone appears to be seriously threatened, and I have hoped that you had sufficient force in your entrenched line to defy almost any front attack.
I have not, unfortunately, another musket to send you. We have an immensely valuable cargo of arms and powder in Nassau, blockaded there by a Yankee gunboat, that I am trying to get out, but if we succeed it will be too late for your present needs, and in the interval we must put or trust in our just cause and such means as we have in hand. We know that whatever can be done will be done by you, and rest content.
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War.