RICHMOND, June 19, 1862.
General M. L. SMITH, Vicksburg, Miss.:
Your dispatch received.* A blunder frustrated my efforts to furnish you with long-range rifles. One thousand, intended for your operations, were ordered to Governor Pettus, but were sent to Corinth. Since that became known 1,000 muskets have been sent, and to-morrow 1,300 more will go, also about 100 long-range rifles, being all that remained.
Complaint is made to me that your agents are order to burn cotton which is not likely, in their judgment, to fall into the hands of the enemy. It is not always possible to decide; but if the probability be in favor of safety, it is a public duty to protect, and clearly not for the public interest to destroy. A charge of circumstances would require a change of action. For information I refer to Captain W. H. Johnson.
JACKSON, MISS., June 20, 1862.
General GEORGE W. RANDOLPH:
Large mortar fleet and steamers bound up the river for Vicksburg. If it is intended to hold the river re-enforcements hold be sent there.
HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, No. 88. Tupelo, Miss., June 20, 18652.
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III. Major-General van Dorn, commanding Department of Southern Mississippi and East Louisiana, is authorized at this discretion to order for service the limits of his department the troops of this department on or near the line of the Mississippi Central Railroad.
IV. Brigadier General W. N. R. Beall is hereby relieved from duty in the Army of the West, and will report to Major-General Van Dorn, at Jackson, Miss.
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By command of General Bragg:
[GEORGE WM. BRENT,]
Acting Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE WEST, No. 47. Priceville, June 209, 1862.
Having been ordered by the President to assume command of the Department of Southern Mississippi and East Louisiana, the undersigned relinquishes command temporarily of the Army of the West.
EARL VAN DORN,
* Not found.