wishes you to use every means in your power for the defense of Arkansas. He authorizes you to appoint partisan officers, subject to the approval of the President, and in conferring these appointments he desires you to e very careful that none but men of respectable character are appointed. You will call on the State for troops for its defense. You will buy such supplies of every kind as may be needed.
In conducting your operations against the enemy you will endeavor to harass him on his flanks and rear, to cut off his trains and destroy his supplies. You must defend the crossings of the Arkansas River to the last extremity. He relies upon you to act promptly and energetically in resisting and defeating the invasion of the State. Being isolated, you must of necessity assume responsibilities.
You will call on General Pike to send to your aid all of the troops he can spare you, not Indians.
The ordnance officer has been directed to furnish you with all the necessary ammunition, and an agent will be sent in charge of it by the most expeditious route.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
DABNEY H. MAURY,
RICHMOND, VA., May 20, 1862.
General EARL VAN DORN,
Army of the Mississippi, Corinth:
GENERAL: A recent proclamation by the Governor of Arkansas has been brought to my notice, which may operate injuriously on our cause, and which it is advisable to counteract, so far as it can properly be done. From the tenor of this proclamation, which has no doubt been read by you, it is apparent that an impression prevails that the defense of the State of Arkansas, and indeed of the whole Trans-Mississippi District, has been abandoned by the Confederate Government.
On reflection it has occurred to me that the most appropriate and effective mode of preventing any mischievous results from this proclamation would be an address coming from you as commander of that district to the people embraced within it. Such an address, setting forth the fact that your absence is merely temporary; that you and your troops were withdrawn by direction of the commander of the department for an urgent and special service; that in aiding to hold in check and defeat the army of Halleck in Tennessee you deemed yourself really engaged in defending the west of the Mississippi in the most effective manner; that you had been detained longer than you had anticipated, but hoped very soon to return for an active campaign in the West with at least as many troops as had been temporarily withdrawn, and urging the people in the mean time to make the best possible preparations for such a campaign, and to organize as far as practicable for home defense against the small force the enemy had sent into Arkansas. Such an address would, I think, have a very happy effect, and might obviate any evil results at home from the Governor's proclamation.
I wish you would consult with General Price on the subject, and determine whether there is any objection to the course suggested, and whether it would not be better that the address should be signed by both of you. Let this communication be considered by you both as