railroad, where we could make ourselves so busy that our descent would be dreaded the whole length of the river, and by the loss of negroes and other property [they] would in time discover that war is not the remedy for the political evils of which they complained. I hold myself prepared to carry out promptly and cheerfully any plan you may make, but I do not believe Halleck will permit you to make any real move till events further develop in Kentucky and Maryland. Of course the troops still south of you must be held in check until Buell tries his strength with Bragg. You have already given Price a hint that he is not to pass north of you. Breckinridge has gone, but mostly for reasons of personal pride, to drink the glory of triumph in his own Kentucky; but I hope Buell and Wright have troops enough to regain all of Kentucky and Tennessee before Cristmas. The sad quarrel of Nelson and Davis, and Buell's narrow escape from removal, will make him rash; but still his troops are now so hardy and so well prepared that I have great faith in him and them. I think Halleck will cause McClellan to press on Lee's front whilst he threatens his flank, as also Richmond. He will have every available man at work at once; his apparent silence means work. You know how impetuous he is when he starts, and I expect to hear, by every boat, of regiments by the dozen pouring on Richmond whilst McClellan holds Lee in check. Same of Buell. We down here will for the time being be lost sight of; but as soon as the Southern Army turns their faces South then look out for squalls. I know you will pardon me for these outspoken thoughts, but I assure you I fell more confidence now than at any former period of the war. The number of men engaged is now commensurate with the game. We know that all the South is in arms and deep in enmity, and we know that every man available for war in the North should now be in motion. We cannot change the hearts of those people of the South, but we can make war so terrible that they will realize the fact that, however brave and gallant and devoted to their country, still they are mortal and should exhaust all peaceful remedies before they fly to war. This is all I hope for, and even this will take time and vast numbers. The scramble for money, for office, of our Northern people makes me sometimes sick, but still we must take them as they are, and I begin to feel that the Northern people will soon realize that words and deeds are different things.
I think I see some symptoms here of favorable change. The guerrillas are less active and offensive. Yesterday 40 wagons with farmers came in, each with a bale of cotton; the guerrillas tried to stop them with threats, but were told that their families were suffering for salt and tea and medicines, shoes, clothing, &c., all of which were abundant in Memphis. When threatened, the guerrillas were told to destroy this cotton they would have to fight, and they let it pass. Now this may or may not be true; but the bearing of the farmers, their plain, simple story impressed me, and I relaxed the usual rules of trade and allowed them to carry back clothing and necessaries for their families. Like events in a more limited scale have occurred on the Arkansas side, and I think many of the farmers are tired of the war, and especially of guerrillas. I have promised if they will take care of the guerrillas they may have trade and that we will deal only with large armies.
Guerrillas have twice attacked boats near Randolph-the Forest Queen and J. J. Roe-on both of which were many lady and children passengers. The attacks were wanton and cruel. I caused Randolph to be destroyed, and have given public notice that a repetition will justify any measures of retaliation, such as loading the boats with their captive guerrillas as targets (I always have a lot on hand), and expelling fami-