kansas and the Indian Territory, neither of which I presume will be seriously menaced from Missouri, your next object should be speedy and effective co-operation with General Pemberton for the protection of the Mississippi Valley and the conquest of West Tennessee. We are not yet informed of General Bragg's intended movements; but we presume, from the fact that his army is not seriously weakened, that he falls back from Kentucky for the purpose of completing the conquest of Tennessee. An opportunity offers, therefore, of converging three armies (General Bragg's, Pemberton's, and your own) upon some central point, and of regaining Tennessee and the Mississippi Valley. To effect this great object co-intelligence among the commanders is absolutely necessary. You are in position to communicate easily with General Pemberton and we shall be in communication with General Bragg. We shall endeavor to arrange with him the plan of the fall campaign, and to communicate is as speedily as possible to General Pemberton and though him to you. In the mean time, while your preparation should look to the object indicated and your movements should be made accordingly, an advance upon Helena would seem to be the first step necessary to secure Arkansas and the Mississippi Valley and to put you in position for entering Tennessee. Of this, however, you must judge after communication with General Pemberton. If the fall campaign can be closed by the reoccupation of Tennessee and the restoration of our communications with the Trans-Mississippi Department we shall be well content to leave Kentucky and Missouri for another campaign. The conscript act has been extended to all persons between thirty-five and forty years of age, and your enrollments will therefore embrace all men from eighteen to forty. The exemption act will be soon published, with an order designating which clauses, if any, are retrospective. It is now in the hands of the Attorney-General for the purpose of receiving an authoritative construction. Congress having passed an act authorizing the President to appoint 20 generals for such duty as he shall prescribe, he designs to give you a brigadier as your [assistant] adjutant and inspector general. You are at liberty therefore either to assign one of your brigadiers to that duty of to nominate, some one for the position.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War.
DOAKSVILLE, C. N. October 22, 1862.
Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I am now at the capita of the Choctaw Nation. The General Council was in session when I arrived. I had consequently an opportunity of seeing and conferring freely with the leading men from every part of the nation. Many of the Choctaw young men are in the army. The portion of the people left at home are quiet, orderly, and are generally doing well. The crop of the present year is unusually short, owing to excessive drought, but there is but little likelihood of any of the Choctaws suffering for food, as I understand a large supply of grain is on hand from the crop of last year. There is no disaffection among the Choctaws. They are emphatically a united people, and are true and loyal. I have been told by more than one person here of intelligence and worth (Colonel Pitchlynn, who is known to the President,