transportation, but, under existing circumstances, it is the best which can be done. Orders have been sent out for the purchase of cotton and woolen cards, and I hope it will be practicable to send some of these to hour department. I would readily give any facilities which we can afford to any one who would introduce machinery into your department for the manufacture of such cards. The endurance of our people is to be severely tested, and nothing will serve more to encourage and sustain them than a zealous application of their industry to the task of producing with themselves whatever is necessary for their comfortable existence, and proportion as the country exhibits a power to sustain itself, so will the men able to bear arms be inspired with a determination to repel invasion. During the summer months the enemy cannot, I suppose attempt any extensive operations in the southern portion of your department. During the fall the rivers will scarcely be navigable; and the interval will, I hope, enable you to do much in the way of preparation.
I have understood that substantial steamboats and good engines have been made at Little Rock, and that contracts would be taken for the construction of such, if proposals were invited. Concerning this and all the like subjects of which I have spoken, you are in a situation to obtain correct information and will know how to secure the co-operation of such persons as will be most likely to render your efforts successful. I suppose you will encounter as we have elsewhere, embarrassment and annoyance from the class of persons who, eager for gain and careless of their country's welfare, engage in illicit trade with the enemy. The little benefit which is derived from such traffic is so greatly overbalanced by the injuries which it inflicts that as far as may be it should be prevented. I have rejoiced in the success which has attended the operations of your troops in Southern Louisiana, and trust it is but the beginning of a career which will extend itself to every portion of your department and cause your administration of it to redound equally to the good of our country and your own fame. We are now in the darkest hour of our political existence. I am happy in the confidence I feel in your ability zeal, and discretion. The responsibility with which you are charged is heavy indeed, and your means I know are very inadequate. If my power were equal to my will, you should have all which you require. It grieves me to have enumerated so many an such difficult objects for your attention when I can give you so little aid in their achievement. May God guide and preserve you, and grant to us a future in which we may congratulate each other on the achievement of the independence of our country.
Truly, your friend.
HOSPITAL AT MR. ALLEN POLK'S,
July 14, 1863
Major General STERLING PRICE:
DEAR SIR: I wrote you on the 12th by one of our scouts. This morning another opportunity presents itself, of which I will avail myself. Yesterday evening five of our infirmary corps who were detained in Helena cam out, and will go on to the army this morning. They were allowed to come out without being paroled. Accompanying them is a paroled prisoner from Vicksburg, who fully confirms the sad news of the surrender of that gallant city on the 4th instant. I had hoped