What success has attended him I am unable to say. With all my confidence in his energy, skill, and courage, I cannot but feel the most anxious solicitude for the safety of himself and men, knowing as I do the difficulties and perils by which he is surrounded.
It gives me no pleasure to recite these recurrences, and I pray you not to understand me as doing so in any spirit of complaint against the good faith of the Confederate Government toward Missouri.
An imperative sense of duty to my State, to General Price, and the brave men who have so faithfully served their country under him require, in my judgment, that you should know all the facts in the case, and I ask that you will give them the consideration due them.
That General Price will exert himself to the utmost in raising men for the Confederate service I have no shadow of doubt; but if his efforts shall not be crowned with that success we have so earnestly hopped for, it is due to him and to the country that the reasons should be known.
Without intending to have been importunate I have felt it my duty to urge again and again, as you are aware, the appointment of General Price to the chief command of the Western Department. I think him the man for the place. Those who have served under him and who know him best, as well as the whole country, believe him to be the man.
If it could be announced in his camp to-day that he is to command there would be one universal shout of joy, and such an impetus would be given to the work of recruiting as nothing else can impart to it.
If I did not feel so deeply impressed with the importance of an early, if not immediate, appointment for the Western Department, I should not press the matter further upon your consideration. Much, very much, in my judgment, depends upon early action. I hope you have already been clothed with power to make the appointment. If you have not, Congress surely will not delay in conferring when interests so vital to the safety of the country are at stake.
I have the honor to be, &c.,
C. F. JACKSON.
NEW ORLEANS, December 30, 1861.
MY DEAR GENERAL: The bearer of this letter will hand you several dispatches from Richmond, which will acquaint you with what is going on there.
I have read the letter which the President has addressed to you. I send you the one he addressed to me, and likewise a copy of my answer to him.* I think the time has come when we should speak out in plain terms. I have endeavored to call the attention of Mr. Davis to the true condition of things in Missouri, and have urged the necessity of prompt action in the premises. Whether we shall succeed in getting it I am unable to say. Why it is that he can't give you the appointment at once I am utterly at a loss to determine. He certainly had it in contemplation to appoint Colonel Heth to the chief command, or Mr. Hunter's dispatch to me was sent without authority, and this Mr. Hunter certainly would not do. If, then, the President had the power to appoint Colonel Heth, I cannot see why he has not the authority to appoint you. I am free to acknowledge there is a mystery about this whole affair which I do not comprehend.
*See Davis to Jackson, December 21, p. 717, and Jackson to Davis, December 30, p. 724.