official action would seem to render it necessary to ask that the President be furnished with my reply and, as I trust, fully vindication.
Inclosed please find also copy of correspondence with citizens of Saint Tammany Parish respecting trade with the enemy (marked D).*
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.
HDQRS. FIRST DIST., DEPT. OF MISS. AND EASTERN LA.,
Jackson, Miss., December 2, 1862.
His Excellency THOMAS O. MOORE,
Governor of Louisiana:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge your letter of the 2nd October, received on the eve of my departure for Virginia, from which State I have recently returned. This will, I trust, satisfactorily explain to delay of my reply.
General Order, No. 2, dated Jackson, miss., September 8, 1862, to which you refer, was issued under peculiar circumstances. Martial law had just been abolished by the same general who had established it. The civil authorities, particularly in East Louisiana, were represented by Hon. G. W. Martin, presiding judge of that district, as really powerless. His letter to me on that subject is now on file in the War Department. The district, being bounded by the Mississippi River, the lakes, and Gulf, was exposed to constant raids from the enemy, who would not doubt exert themselves to prevent the trail and punishment of persons arrested for holding intercourse with and giving information to them. Unfortunately experience has demonstrated that there are too many willing to serve them in this way.
Your Excellency must at once perceive how much this state of things was likely to embarrass military movements, and how liable the best matured military plans are to be thwarted by the facility thus afforced the enemy to obtain information of our movements.
It was therefore indispensably necessary to provide some safeguard against spies and unrestrained intercourse with the enemy, and especially among a generous, spirited people, unused to the restraints and vicissitudes indecent to a state of war.
The order was intended to prevent such improper and illegal intercourse as was dangerous to the public welfare; and as it was confined to a mere recitation of the mandatory and prohibitory provision of law (see articles 56, 57, 58, and 82 of the Rules and Articles of War) the power to suspend or circumscribe their scope or intent was entirely beyond my official jurisdiction. I considered it to be may duty to do all in my power to check, or rather to prevent, the evils referred to (see letter A appended), and I felt the less hesitation in doing so in Louisiana when I remembered the very stringent proclamation on the same subject issued by Your Excellency in June last. In this proclamation I find the following strong language:
I am not introducing any new regulations for the government of our citizens,but am only laying before them those that every nation at war recognizes as necessary on the contrary, I am but awaiting he assistance and presence of the general appointed to the department to inaugurate the most effectual method for their enforcement. It is well to repeat them: