War of the Rebellion: Serial 033 Page 0935 Chapter XXXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

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LITTLE ROCK, ARK., July 20, 1863

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON, Richmond, Va.:

DEAR SIR: The paymaster-general of Missouri, Colonel J. T. Thornton, takes this letter across the Mississippi to mail to you, and will, after a visit on business to Columbia, present you a letter of introduction and bring you information as to affairs here. My position here is satisfactory. When I last wrote you I anticipated great trouble. A firm but conciliatory course, which Colonel Thornton will detail to you, produced a complete alteration in the attitude of General Price and others, and I now have confidence in harmonious action between them and me in support of the views I expressed in Richmond to you and the President. A system of counterpoises among the military politicians, indispensable to a just exercise of civil authority, will soon be established. The materials for it are ample.

I inclose copy of an important letter yesterday received from General E. K. Smith, as you may fail to get a copy. Governor Lubbock and I were schoolfellows in Charleston. I shall seek his co-operation in directing the military toward good ends and good measures. Both Governor Flanagin and Governor Moore will, I think, from my knowledge of them, act in no sectional or separatist spirit.

General E. K. Smith has the confidence of everybody, and, in my opinion, is just the man for this department. We are not at all despondent on account of the loss of Vicksburg, but will endeavor to do our full share in the coming struggle.

It gives me great pleasure to notice the high opinion the military and the public generally entertain of your vigor and ability as a war minister.

I write also to Colonel [W. P.] Johnson, by this opportunity, a short letter. Colonel Thornton has confidential verbal messages for you from me, and I think you will not regret giving him a long interview. He has my full confidence, and can be trusted as an intelligent, reliable man.

I remain, dear sir, very truly, yours,


[Governor of Missouri.]

P. S. - If anything should happen to Holmes and Price, old General Roane ranks all other officers here. All tell me Fagan is by far the best of the Arkansas brigadiers, and I think so too; he was distinguished you to have him made a major-general.



Shreveport, La., July 13, 1863


SIRS: Upon my arrival in this department in April last, I found headquarters at Little Rock, Ark. I repaired there from Alexandria, and endeavored to impartially survey the field of my labor. After investigation into the past and present condition of the department, I was enabled to form an opinion of what should be my future course. I determined that my most important duties were administrative, and that I must leave, in a great measure, the active operations of the field to my juniors. I selected this as the most central and best point for depots and headquarters.

Vicksburg has fallen. The enemy possess the key to this department. What will be his future operations can only be determined by time. It