The only limit to the force I can put in the field will be the amount of money and the quantity of arms, ammunition, &c., furnished me. I found here almost nothing. Nearly everything of value was taken away by General Van Dorn. The artillery amounts to six bronze pieces, and as many more of iron, condemned;; the small-arms to about 2,000 damaged shot-guns and rifles, and the same number of pikes and lances; the ammunition to 400 rounds for the battery and 15 kegs of powder, with 100,000 caps and 5,000 pounds of lead. I have 4,000 mounted men, and 1,500 infantry in the field.
I have sent agents in every direction to collect arms and ammunition by purchase or impressment; am engaged in repairing those on hand and in making cartridges; have commenced the manufacture of saltpeter; opened lead mines; will soon be mining copper, and thereby getting a sufficiency of sulphur, and hope within sixty days to be making small-arms and cannon. Salt I can produce in large quantity, subsistence can be obtained to any desired extent.
But in the mean time I should have money, arms, &c., from east of the Mississippi. If not adequately supplied, it is not probable I can hold the line of White River. If that line is lost the loss of the Arkansas will follow, and that will defeat the efforts I am making.
The estimates forwarded herewith show what funds I require. With 5,000 Enfield rifles and accouterments, 12 mountain howitzers, caps and powder in proportion, cartridge paper and thread, I believe I can drive the enemy from this State before August. Those articles can be moved across the Mississippi with comparative readiness for the present and until the Federals organize an effective police upon and along that stream.
To cover contingencies as to funds I ask authority to negotiate loans, when necessary and practicable, of State authorities.
It is necessary also, in my opinion, that commissions for all officers below my own rank, signed in blank, should be sent me, with power to appoint, promote, and dismiss at my discretion, or under such restrictions as, for instance future confirmation, may be thought expedient. Without these powers it will be impossible to make an army of the material I have. I think also it would be best to enlarge my command so as to embrace all the territory of the Confederacy west of the Mississippi.
Major W. H. Govan, by who this letter is sent, was my brigade quartermaster in Kentucky. He resigned that position and I requested the appointment of John H. Crump as his successor. I desire to have Major Govan retained in service and assigned to me as paymaster and Major Crump commissioned as major and quartermaster.
T. C. HINDMAN,
RICHMOND, June 10, 1862.
Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War:
SIR: In pursuance of the understanding involved in our conversation of this morning I proceed to reduce to writing the inquiries then propounded, with the view of eliciting answers which I may be at liberty to use in furtherance of the policy adopted by the Government; and if in the course of propounding the inquiries I should digress in such a
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