War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0748 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter

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XXVII.

States. I shall consider them as forming part of the Army of the Confederacy, and direct their officers to look to the War Department for subsistence, pay, and quarters from the time of their entry upon active service. There will consequently be needed in this State an officer of the Quartermaster-General's Department, as well for the corps of Rangers as for the proposed camps of instruction for conscripts.

I have neither the authority nor the means to organize, equip, and subsist an army in Louisiana. Our Legislature did not anticipate nor provide for the stupendous calamity that has deprived us of our metropolis, severed the State, and render all the banks of our navigable rivers for an aggregate extent of more than 2,000 miles vulnerable by the enemy's armed vessels. With a voting population of about 50,000 in the State thirty regiments have been raised for Confederate service and are now employed outside of this State. We have no arms left us but shot-buns, and no ammunition for them except small quantities in private hands. All means of subsistence except such as are produced here are only obtained at an enormous cost by land carriage or at great risk by water. The State penitentiary and the manufactories at New Orleans have hitherto furnished clothing for army and plantation use. These sources of supply are cut off. We have nothing to depend on but hand-looms, and the cards for them cannot be supplied at any cost, the few that are to be had selling at thirty times their old price. Louisiana, that has contributed so generously in men and means to our great cause, is made to feel the burdens and calamities of war in the same large proportion. Cumulated to these is a disastrous inundation, that brings suffering to thousands who cannot be relieved.

These distresses have disheartened some of our citizens and demoralized others. Our people, seeing no adequate provisions for defense, feel insecure in their persons and property wherever a gunboat can be bough to their vicinity. Dormant disloyalty has awakened with the disaster that brings our enemy so near, and the murmurs of the suffering mingle with the complaints of the mercenary, the taunts of disorganizers, though not numerous, requires sleepless vigilance and some severity. As they are probably made known to the enemy, they will induce the unscrupulous and despotic commander of the Federal troops in New Orleans to send expeditions in all directions as soon as his re-enforcements arrive.

Knowing the paramount necessity of massing the Confederate troops at vital points, I do not ask or expect soldiers to be withdrawn from our great armies to defend the western part of Louisiana. A commanding general for this department, a few experienced officers to aid him and assist in organizing and drilling conscripts, rangers, and militia; money to pay and subsist troops who may enter the Confederate service; ammunition for small-arms and for field artillery; a limited supply of tents and camp equipage, all of which Your Excellency may be able to furnish without appreciable inconvenience to the army in Tennessee or that in Virginia, would be of great benefit to us.

With no other assistance than what I have mentioned we may be able to organize such a force as to preserve our cattle and corn from the enemy; to resist any incursion in places not within the reach of armed vessels; to put our bayous and river banks under the protection of partisan bands; to secure the growing crops for the use of the Confederacy; to restore the confidence of the doubting; to crush the wicked hopes of secret enemies; to facilitate the transportation of provisions; to prepare to aid in the expulsion of Curtis and his marauders from