My great anxiety to rejoin my troops must be my apology for urging you to give me an immediate answer to this note.
I am, with the greatest respect, your obedient servant,
RICHMOND, June 24, 1862
Major General STERLING PRICE,
Provisional Army of the Confederate States:
GENERAL: I have just received your letter of the 24th instant, asking whether any action had been taken on your letter in reference to the conduct of the war west of the Mississippi and the transfer of the Missouri troops to the Trans-Mississippi Department. Before we heard of your intended visit to Richmond an order had been issued assigning General Magruder to the command of the Trans-Mississippi Department, and his departure from the Army of Northern Virginia was delayed only by military operations near this city. It was necessary before answering your letter to ascertain from General Magruder whether he could assume the command conferred on him in a reasonable time, or whether, having regard to his own wishes and the exigencies of the service, it would not be better to rescind the order and to assign some one else to the command. Upon conference with him I found that he held himself in readiness to assume command of the department and considered it practicable for him to enter upon the discharge of his duties in a short time. I informed you on yesterday of the result of this conference and of General Magruder's wish to have your assistance in the department. I also expressed my own hope that you might be able to afford it. Your division has been already retained longer than the President contemplated when it was ordered across the Mississippi, and General Bragg will be ordered to transfer it to the Trans-Mississippi Department so soon as it can be safely spared. The time of transfer must of course depend on the possibility of throwing troops across the river in its present stage or on military operations now in progress, in which you have expressed a wish to participate. I hope, general, that you may find the proposed arrangement in the Trans-Mississippi Department as agreeable to yourself as I am confident it will be beneficial to the country. The field is large, and will tax to the utmost the well-know energies and capacity of General Magruder and yourself.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF INDIAN TERRITORY,
Fort McCulloch, June 26, 1862
The SECRETARY OF WAR, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: I am again constrained to trouble you in regard to the commissariat and quartermaster's affairs in this department.
I have by communications at various times placed the War Department fully in possession of the facts concerning the mode in which the Indian troops in this department were dealt with by the depot quartermaster and depot commissary at Fort Smith from August, 1861, to February, 1862. Of the enormous sums of money remitted to Major