this State is yielded, it is my settled conviction that the Confederate Army will be reduced on this and the other side of the Mississippi 30,000 men; a third greater disaster than has ever befallen the Confederate cause.
In regard to the currency, in my opinion the best remedy is to get an engraver, with an assistant treasurer on this side of the Mississippi, to make and sign money of the Confederate States. The proposal to collect cotton and bank upon it is, in my opinion, impracticable,and, if practicable, the money would be no better than the money now in circulation. We are compelled to accept the depreciation of our currency, and the only remedy is to reduce the amount, or to increase the security, or both. The history of the world shows that the legislative intermeddling with the currency without increasing its value is fatal to confidence.
Of course, if cotton can be obtained in a place which shall render it a fair security, it may be used as a pledge, or in a state in individual transactions, but not as a basis for a currency.
In conclusion, I feel that the State is well represented in yourself, and your own opinion and judgment will have great weight in making the results of that meeting acceptable to the public and myself.
Your obedient servant,
[AUGUST 8, 1863.- For General Smith's requisition of Governor Reynolds for a brigade of Missouri cavalry, see Series IV.]
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., August 9, 1863.
General E. KIRBY SMITH, Commanding, &c.:
GENERAL: This will be handed you by Colonel T. P. Dockery, of the Nineteenth Arkansas Regiment, who, with the brigade at the time commanded by him, were among the prisoners surrendered at Vicksburg. He has been ordered to pass of the Trans-Mississippi Department, and proceed to reassemble the men of his brigade at Camden, Ark., or such other place as you may in preference designate, and to arm and recruit them, as far as possible, for active service as soon as exchanged or discharged of their parole, which, in reference to such portions of them as this department considers bound by such obligation, will, under the cartel, be done as soon as the lists of the men and officers in companies and regiments, ordered to be forwarded by General Pemberton, are received.
The circumstances in relation to a portion of the men are peculiar. The terms of the capitulations required that they should be returned and allowed to march within our lines. Before, however, this had been done,and before the men had been listed and acknowledged by certificate of officers as prisoners, many of them from the Trans-Mississippi Department, eager and impatient to return to their homes, manifested a disregard to their duty as soldiers and their desire at once to cross the river. This feeling and dissatisfaction were to the utmost encouraged by the enemy, and facilities of every kind were given the men to leave their commands and pass the river. Very many men,and some officers, thus, before the prisoners left Vicksburg, and before listed for the acknowledgment of the officers, were separated from and lost to