War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0749 Chapter XXVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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Arkansas, and eventually to sustain and second our Western Army when its conquering columns shall be pushed across the Ohio.

The officer whom General Beauregard was to designate as commandant of conscripts at Opelousas has not arrived. If he does not bring tents, camp equipments, &c., he will be greatly embarrassed, for nothing of the kind can be obtained in this isolated section. I shall afford him all possible aid, and I expect much assistance from his professional skill and experience.

In relation to conscripts, I would respectfully suggest to Your Excellency that in your instructions to the commandant of the Western Department you give him the authority to modify the operation of the conscription law to the extent of retaining conscripts in his department and forming them (temporarily) into new companies, instead of reserving them as recruits to regiments east of the Mississippi. With such a modification I have some reason to hope that conscripts will repair to camp with alacrity; without it, I have some apprehension that the law cannot be enforced except with much difficulty. Moreover, the Louisiana troops now in the field and far removed from their homes will certainly render more efficient, because more cheerful, service when they know that the defense of their families and property is provided for.

The feeling prevails throughout the State that no more men or arms should be spared for distant service till the yet uninvited part of the State is guarded against marauders. Many plantations have but a single white man to superintend them, while others have not oven one. Had not one-third part of our State gone into the hands of the enemy our quota would have been kept full without conscription. Our resources having been kept full without conscription. Our resources having been so much reduced by conquest, equity demands that the requirements of the Confederate Government should be reduced in the same proportion. Conscripts cannot be expected from New Orleans nor from the neighboring parishes, which are virtually under the influence of the enemy.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,



YAZOO CITY, MISS., June 4, 1862.


Commanding, Grenada, Miss:

SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 31st ultimo. The Arkansas gunboat has been removed to this place and the work of fitting the vessel for service is now actively begun. In beginning, however, I have had to assume extraordinary powers, both with workmen and officers. The lukewarmness or inefficiency of the commander whom I relieved amounted to practical treason, though he means nothing of the kind. I have got rid of him, but in doing so have placed myself inside the mutiny act. I came near shooting him, and must have done so if he had not consented and got out of my way. He has gone to Richmond to denounce me, no doubt, but I care not what they say of me there so long as it is evident here that I am trying my best to get ready to strike the enemies of my country and of mankind. That I will hit them hard when ready, if possible, I promise you. It will be twenty days yet before we are ready.

Great deception has been practiced by some party or other regarding the forwardness of the Arkansas equipment, or else the Department of