Honorable W. Merrick, Honorable Albert Voorhies; from Arkansas, Honorable Robert W. Johnson, Honorable C. B. Mitchell, Honorable W. K. Patterson; and from Missouri, Gov. Thomas C. Reynolds. Whereupon the lieutenant-general commanding the Trans-Mississippi Department submitted the following questions for consideration:
1st. The condition of the States since the fall of Vicksburg; the temper of the people; the resources and ability of each State to contribute to the cause and the defense of the department, and the best means of bringing into use the whole population for the protection of their homes.
2nd. The best means for restoring confidence, checking the spirit of disloyalty, and keeping the people steadfast, in the hope of ultimate triumph of our arms.
3rd. The question of the currency, and the best method of securing the cotton of this department without causing opposition on the part of the people, and the best method of disposing of the same.
4th. The extent of the civil authority to be exercised, referred to in the letter of the Secretary of War, July 14.
5th. Appointment of commissioner to confer with French and Mexican authorities in Mexico.
6th. Arms and ordnance stores.
The confederacy was organized on the 17th of August, 1863, by calling Gov. Francis R. Lubbock, of Texas, to the chair, and the appointment of W. K. Patterson secretary.
On motion, the chair appointment the following committees:
Numbers 1. Governor Reynolds, Missouri; Voorhies, Louisiana; Johnson, Arkansas; Bryan, Texas; Oldham, Texas; and Patterson, Arkansas.
Numbers 2. Oldham, Texas; Merrick, Louisiana; Mitchell, Arkansas; Reynolds, Missouri; and Lubbock, Texas.
Numbers 3. Johnson, Arkansas; Moore, Louisiana; Murrah, Texas;manning, Louisiana; and Merrick, Louisiana.
On motion, the first, second, and sixth propositions were referred to Committee Numbers 1; second proposition to Committee Numbers 2; and fourth and fifth propositions to Committee Numbers 3.
Conference adjourned until to-morrow at 8 o'clock.
TUESDAY, August 18, 1863-8 a. m.
Conference met, and Judge Merrick, Committee Numbers 3, made the following report; which was unanimously adopted:
The undersigned sub-committee has had under consideration the question submitted by Lieutenant General E. Kirby Smith, as to the extent of civil authority to be exercised by him, referred to by the Secretary of War in his letter of July 14, 1863; now report that, in the opinion of the committee, it is intended that such powers only should be exercised as are now exercised by other officers at Richmond, and which are absolutely necessary, on account of inability to communicate with Richmond, that the general should assume in order to augment his army and put the department in the best state of defense.
The objects to which such powers will extend are enumerated generally in the letter of the Secretary of War, and it is impracticable to the more specific here. Of course, when the Secretary of War advises the general in command of the department to assume powers not granted by any act of Congress to any general in the army, and only exercised by other departments of the Government, he expects that such powers (which are only powers of administration) should be exercised according to existing laws, and that nothing should be changed, except the