War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0733 Chapter XXVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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Camp Moore, La., May 12, 1863.


SIR: I have received your note* in relation to the protest made by me relative to the sending the arms to Corinth. I will explain more fully my expression as to abandoning the State. It was intended to convey my idea that without more guns I should be unable to hold my present position. I have here but 2,000 guns and about 600 at Jackson. In lieu of the regiment from this State sent to Vicksburg I have retained here a Mississippi regiment. The regiment at Jackson with the armed troops here will only give 3,200 available troops, nearly all of which are new levies, and I fear that with this number, scarcely organized, I shall have some difficulty in holding my own.

I am well aware that it has been mainly through your assistance that the troops I have are armed, but I have telegraphed to Richmond for guns and they inform me they have none.

Under these circumstances if we fail to get those sent to Corinth it leaves me in the predicament explained above. You will see yourself that if the enemy acts in force it will be next to impossible to keep him back with 3,200 men.

It will likewise occur to you that the remarks as to arming the troops of the Confederacy with these guns are equally applicable to their present destination. They are in the hands of Confederate troops at Corinth, the same as they would have been here. In the latter case, however, they would been retained within the limits of the State for a time at all events.

With reference to your want of knowledge of my plans, it has probably escaped your mind that I read to you yesterday that part of my letter to General Lee which related to my future course of action, and it seemed to meet the approval of Judge Moise and yourself. It was simply to organize a central force of 5,000 men, which, in connection with corps of Partisan Rangers, might succeed in confining the enemy to New Orleans, and thus subject him to the diseases incident to that city in summer. If I cannot organize that central force I fear that I shall be compelled to abandon that plan and be driven from the State, and it was the possibility of this result which induced my note of this morning.

Moreover, you had already given me an order for the 820 guns, and I had sent an officer for them. Expecting to get them, I withdrew one regiment to Jackson for purposes of a better encampment, having here about 800 unarmed men, which will be of no assistance to me in holding this position. The only right that I had to expect the guns from you was derived from your own written order to that effect.

With regard to the arms in the hands of the troops in New Orleans, they were State property, in the hands of State troops, where they still remain. They disbanded contrary to my orders, which were expressly that all armed men should rendezvous at this point, but I learn that the order was given by Generals [E. L.] Tracy and [B.] Buisson for them to disband.

In conclusion I beg to say that my note was not intended to convey any idea that you were not doing everything in your power for the cause but to object to the sending of the guns to Corinth, thus render-


*Not found.