a political problem involved in your command. I have been warned against a feeling which is said to exist in favor of a separate organization on the part of the States west of the Mississippi Unreasonable men think they have been neglected, and timid men may hope that they can make better terms for themselves if their cause is not combined with that of the Confederacy. Already I am told that dissatisfaction exists in Arkansas and that it has been assumed that you intend to abandon that country, the basis of such supposition being your concentration of troops in Louisiana. To give to each section all that local interests may suggest, will of course, be impossible but much discontent may be avoided by giving such explanations to the Governors of the States as will prevent them from misconstruing your actions, and men are sometimes made valuable coadjutors by conferring with them without surrendering any portion of that control with it is essential for a commander to retain. Separated form the Eastern States as you now are, your department must needs be, to a great extent, self-sustaining. It contains large resources of mineral wealth, but they have been little developed, and I fear there is a great want of skilled labor. To get iron, test its qualities, combine it into the best gun-metal, and cast ordnance will be one of your first efforts. Some persons skilled in the casting of guns have been sent over. I am not informed what progress they have made . To manufacture gun carriages and army wagons will also be necessary. These operations may be partly conducted by contract, but you will probably have also to maintain an establishment for that purpose. You will also require a powder mill, and I hope you will be able to procure saltpeter and sulphur in the country.
Some attempts have been made to establish arsenals for the repair and manufacture of small-arms, but the removal and dispersion of the machinery has, I fear, greatly retarded the successful prosecution of the work. In selecting the places at which these various operations may be carried on, you will have, to some extent, to defer to the wishes of the people of the different States to have such establishments within their limits, and for other and more weighty considerations it would be advisable so to separate these establishments that not more than one could be destroyed in a single expedition of the enemy. You will also have to encourage the tanning of leather for the manufacture of shoes and harness, and to stimulate domestic industry in the manufacture of clothes, and, if possible, of blankets, and to all this must be added the encouragement in the production of food to support your army and maintain the people. In any view of the case, and especially in connection with an advance into Missouri, it is necessary that the valley of the Arkansas should be kept in such sense of security as to insure the full cultivation of the land. Of its capacity as a grain-growing region you are sufficiently advised; of its importance in connection with maintaining the friendly feeling of the Indians it would be needless to say anything to you, whose years of observation have rendered the subject familiar. By the use of cavalry, accompanied by light batteries, I hope you will able to prevent the enemy from using the Mississippi for commercial purposes. Beyond that, I suppose your operations must be confined to the interior of the country, and that, as your means increase, you will be able to prevent the enemy from using the smaller rivers to penetrate the interior. When you can get a rolling-mill established, it may be that iron-clad gunboats may be constructed on the Arkansas and Red Rivers, which will enable you, in some contingencies, to assume the offensive. I have directed arms and munitions to be sent to you by sea. This will necessarily involve a long line of land