Governor Brown and of the opinion of the Attorney General. I confidently expect a decision sustaining it.
Our currency is the subject which causes anxiety, if not excite alarm, in thoughtful men. It is surrounded by difficulties on every side. The way through them in this time of war is not clear to me. I can only hope that some wiser head may devise an adequate remedy. Every day I am inquired of as to the prospect of peace or of foreign recognition or aid. My uniform answer is that while the indications seem more favorable, and reasonably so than, heretofore, there is no ground to expect immediate aid nor an early peace; that we must gird up our loins and put forth our strength to meet more formidable efforts of the enemy; that we must fight through another year's campaign at least before we can hope for a cessation of hostilities and before foreign nations can bring any negotiation to an issue. In short, that while we may have hope of recognition, and that that is the beginning of the path to peace, yet tonsure it we must not relax our efforts in any direction, and if we do we will be deceived. I hope that I may be agreeably disappointed, but I fear that I am more hopeful than facts justify; yet I have full confidence that a just God will aid and provide for those willing to do what they can, and that our cause must triumph under His guidance.
With highest esteem and kind regards, I am, sir, very respectfully, your friend and servant,
P. W. GRAY.
JANUARY 4, 1863.
Secretary of War for consideration and reference to the order [following] to which reference is made.
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,
Richmond, Va., February 23, 1862.
Brigadier General P. O. HEBERT, Galveston, Tex.:
SIR: Our recent disaster in Tennessee has greatly exposed our line of communication with the West, and the importance of this line is so great that it must be held at any sacrifice. You are therefore instructed at once to send forward to Little Rock, there to report to Major General Earl Van Dorn, all the troops in your command for the defense of the coast, except such as are necessary to man your batteries.
No invasion of Texas is deemed probable, but if any occurs its effects must be hazarded, and our entire forces must be thrown toward the Mississippi for the defense of that river and of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad.
I do not desire that you withdraw such troops as you may have on the Rio Grande or western frontier, but only the troops you may have gathered for defending the Gulf coast. If at any point where you have batteries you deem there is danger of losing the guns by the withdrawal of the land forces you will remove the guns; but the troops are to be pushed forward with all possible rapidity to Little Rock by such routes as you deem best.
I am, your obedient servant,
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War.