HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT, Shreveport, La., May 29, 1863.
Major General J. B. MAGRUDER,
GENERAL: In reply to Major Hart's letter, I am directed by Lieutenant-General Smith to say that it will be impossible to furnish Major Hart with the necessary funds for the purchase of cotton at the present time; that he does not feel justified in drawing on the depositories until he can hear from Richmond. He suggests that you have the power to control the cotton, now being so rapidly carried out of the State, by impressing the transportation; and that you can also control your own supply of cotton by impressing so much as you need, giving purchase vouches for it.
Lieutenant-General Smith desires to confer with Major Hart, and, if his duties will permit it, will you direct him to report in person at these headquarters?
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. R. BOGGS,
Brigadier-General, and Chief of Staff.
HDQRS. DIST. OF TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, AND ARIZONA, Houston, May 29, 1863.
Brigadier General W. R. BOGGS,
Chief of Lieutenant-General Smith's Staff, Shreveport, La.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit, for the approval and consideration of the lieutenant-general commanding, the following plan which I propose executing, in establishing a new district in the north and northeastern part of his State, the boundaries to be as follows, viz: Commencing at Hatton's Ferry, on the Sabine River, and running along the southern boundary of the counties of Sabine, San Augustine, Angelina, Houston, Leon, Limestone, and the eastern part of Falls County to Marlin on the Brazos; thence up the Brazos River to Fort Belknap; thence due north to the Red River, inclusive, with headquarters at Bonham, in Fannin County.
The principal quartermaster and commissary depots I propose locating at Paris, Lamar County, for supplying Brigadier-General [William] Steeles army and the army in Arkansas; one at Marshall, Harrison County, for supplying the army of Louisiana, and one at Dallas, Dallas County, for supplying the army in Texas; the officers in charge to have the exclusive right the purchase supplies, otherwise it will be impossible for me to correct the injurious effects resulting from offices in these departments and Government agents bidding against each other, which may, in a great measure, account for the high prices now ruling.
I propose that Government agents coming into the district for the purpose of obtaining supplies be required to call on and make their requisitions on the depot quartermasters and commissaries established at the above places named; that they be required to turn over the funds brought to purchase those supplies, which will thus enable these officers to replenish and keep up their stock of provision and other stores, and that none be permitted to contract or make outside purchases. If this plan is adopted, I am satisfied from the information I have that the wheat crops can be secured to the Government at greatly reduced prices. Unless this plan or a similar one is adopted, you will, I think, perceive that it will be impossible for me to devise any system by which compe-