out of the enemy's hands as to destroy it, while in fact it extorted from misfortune a great public benefit.
Many planters complained-those nearest the enemy more more loudly than any. The enemy also expressed great indignation and denounced the penalty of death against all cotton burners; but, on the other hand, the object of the law was accomplished more fully than was possible under any different policy; and at the same time the wives and children of soldiers, and other necessitous persons, were provided with the material for clothing themselves and their relations in the army. In furtherance of this same policy I gave considerable aid to persons skilled in the manufacture of cotton and wool cards, spinning-wheels and looms, and caused wool to be brought from Texas and exchanged at cost and carriage for army supplies. This resulted in a development of home industry and production never before equaled, and which was an essential element of my success in the creation and maintenance of an army.
On the day of taking command I caused the powder on the Pontchartrain to be sifted, and thereby obtained a considerable quantity for small-arms. A further supply, together with lead and caps, was procured from the citizens of Little Rock and vicinity by donations, purchase, and impressments. This ammunition, and that which I had brought with me was rapidly prepared for use at the laboratory established at the Little Rock Arsenal for the purpose. As illustrating the pitiable scarcity of material in the country, the fact may be stated that it was found necessary to use public documents of the State library for cartridge paper. Gunsmiths were employed or conscribed, tools purchased or impressed, and the repair of the damaged guns I brought with me and about an equal number found at Little Rock was commenced at once. Men were transferred from the unarmed infantry to the artillery company, and it was otherwise rendered as effective as possible. Four iron guns, condemned under the United States Government and left at the arsenal as useless, and eight others that had been inserted in the earth as corner-posts, were mounted and equipped and afterward rendered good service in the field.
On June 3, anticipating the fall of Memphis, and that Federal fleets would ascend White River and the Arkansas to co-operate with Curtis, I took steps for obstructing both streams. The sudden fall of the Arkansas obviated the danger as to it for the time being. The point selected on White River was Saint Charles, about 100 miles above the mouth, where the first bluff appear. A pile-driver was taken there from Little Rock and another hauled overland from Madison, on the Saint Francis. Timber was cut and floated down and great energy displayed in the work. Captain A. M. Williams, of my staff, had charge of this undertaking, assisted by Messrs. L. Leary and George Brodie, citizens. One hundred men of the infantry went under Captain Williams, 35 being armed with the Enfield rifles brought from Memphis; the others were intended for labor on the obstructions-I had no arms for them.
On June 5 I pushed cavalry boldly against Curtis' advance, which outnumbered them as three to one. I had previously endeavored to impress Curtis with the belief that a large force came with me from Corinth and that heavy re-enforcements had reached me from Texas. This information was conveyed to him by spies and disloyal persons, the latter being themselves deceived. The result answered my expectations. After a very feeble resistance the Federal cavalry fell back beyond Bayou Des Arc.
I then ordered the Maurepas up White River to capture or destroy