three years or during the war," and, in accordance with its provisions, I have been instructed by the President to make a call on the several States for a number of men, to be enlisted for the war, sufficient to fill up a quota equal to 6 per cent. on the entire white population. Under these instruction the number of troops required from your State would be about 71,000 men, or eighty-nine regiments, of 800 men on an average. Under the peculiar circumstances in which Missouri is placed and the difficulties which embarrass her authorities I cannot hope that you will be able at present to meet the requisition, which it is, however, my duty to make.
I therefore respectfully call on Your Excellency to raise and have mustered into the Confederate service the above-named number of regiments, or so many thereof as it may be possible for you to obtain. These regiments will be called into camps of instruction, which you are invited to select. They will there be clothed, subsisted, and armed at the expense of the Confederate States. Each man will receive a bounty of &50 when mustered into service, as well as transportation from his home to the place of rendezvous.
It is earnestly hoped that Your Excellency will spare no effort to have your troops ready for the field by March 15, at which date it is confidently believed you will be joined by the forces of your sister States in such numbers as will enable us, by conjoint effort, to drive the invaders from the soil of Missouri.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War.
Richmond, February 5, 1862.
Major General STERLING PRICE, Springfield, Mo.:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your letter of 17th ultimo. I am much gratified to learn that you are proceeding successfully in the effort to organize troops for service under the Confederacy and have already a brigade under Colonel Henry Little.
The President, whose intention it has always been to secure your services in the common cause as soon as a number of troops could be mustered in from Missouri sufficient to form a division, at first thought of tendering you the nomination of commander of the brigade already formed as a preliminary to the further nomination to command a division as soon as another brigade could be formed, but he has been arrested by the fear that your removal from the command of the State troops before the transfer was complete might have the effect of breaking up your present forces before your new command was organized.
I have to request that at your earliest convenience you forward to me (and it will be held confidential if you wish it) a list of the officers of your State troops competent, in your opinion, to command brigades, in the order of their merit. It is a most difficult and thankless task to select commanders, and at this distance from the scene of action we are entirely at a loss how to determine on the capacity of those recommended for high military commands.
You seem from the terms of your letter to be under some misapprehension when you say that you hope the transfer of the troops already brigaded will be accepted without any unnecessary delay. The troops are already accepted at the instant you have them mustered into serv-