such victory would be worth more to us than the occupation of all our important cities to our enemies. The political condition of your section of country is astonishing. In the very heart of the Confederacy, with an immense slave population, it illy behooves the citizens of Mississippi at this trying juncture to quail or waver before our insidious foe. I would point them to the condition of their sister States Missouri and Virginia as illustrating bright examples of patriotism and love of principle. The enemy have never entered an important city in either of the last-named States that they have not been received with scorn and abhorrence.
5th. I duly approve and commend your course in arresting disloyal citizens. The three cases mentioned by you must be kept confined at your discretion.
6th. As to the minister of the Gospel, I would not interfere with him so long as he does not preach obedience to Northern rule and does nothing contrary to Confederate laws. You must arrest and confine the telegraph operator referred to by you whenever your suspicions shall be confirmed.
7th. Your course, as reported by you throughout the trying scenes through which you have lately passed, as well as the cool and soldierlike behavior of Adjt. W. J. Lyle, are highly approved. I am rejoiced to hear of the conduct of the latter with only a handful of men in presence of an overpowering adversary.
8th. The location of a camp at Fayette, suggested and recommended in your letter of the 20th, meets with my sanction, but I have no troops of any description to send there, for all you refer to are required here and at Vicksburg.
9th. At present the wants and necessities of your post cannot be supplied, but I hope to be able to do so in case of a victory here. As respects the burning of cotton, the law is that all cotton in danger of falling into the hands of the enemy shall be destroyed, without regard to whom it belongs. I repeat the order given in a former part of this letter, that all animals and means of transportation, such as wagons, drays, &c., must be moved to a place of safety and not allowed to fall into the enemy's hands.
10th. In regard to persons guilty of treason and other crimes of a kindred nature, they should be turned over to the nearest civil magistrates for trial and punished, if practicable; but in grave cases, when the civil power is inadequate to reach the evil and the public exigency should demand it, you might resort to a military commission to try the offenders. But this is a delicate power and should only be resorted to in extreme cases. All this is a delicate power and should only be resorted to in extreme cases. All other offenses committed against the Articles of War should be tried by courts-martial, in conformity with the Army Regulations. When you deem it necessary that a general court-martial should be convened you can apply to these headquarters for authority to order it.
11th. Your suggestions as to points where batteries might be advantageously placed are appreciated, but unfortunately we have no guns and no artillerists for this purpose.
In closing this letter I again commend your zeal and patriotism and the course pursued in all your late duties and actions, as reported in your communications; but whilst strictly performing your duty I must counsel you to endeavor to persuade and conciliate our people in preference to adopting harsh measures, which at present we have not the means of carrying into effect.
With high respect, your obedient servant,
G. T. BEAUREGARD.