tition and extortion can be prevented. A communication from Major W. H. Thomas, commissary of subsistence, to Captain J. Q. St. Clair, acting commissary of subsistence at Tyler, has been referred to me, in which he notifies Captain J. Q. St. Clair that he has taken entire control of a large portion of the wheat-growing region in Northern and Northeastern Texas, to secure breadstuffs and other supplies for that portion of the Trans-Mississippi Department not under the command of Major-General Magruder, and will furnish with funds to make purchases, &c.; also requiring officers of the commissary department in that district to report to him. I do not think you have authorized or would sanction this proceeding on the part of Major Thomas.
As you will readily perceive, it will be impossible for me to regulate the district, or institute and degree of system therein, in officers of other districts are permitted to enter this, and endeavor to control the actions of the officers under my command, without reference to me or any existing orders. I am satisfied that the best interests of the Government will be subserved provided some such plan as the one proposed by me be put into operation, and the number of purchasing agents reduced to the smallest possible number, and that duty be confined to officers who are permanently stationed at depots in this district, whose acquaintance with the resources of the country and the market value of the products will give them peculiar advantages over all new-comers. Lieutenant-General Holmes adopted a plan similar to that proposed by Major Thomas, and the necessities of the troops under my command forcing me to buy in the same region, competition naturally ensued, and hence the fabulous prices. As I command this district, I would willingly assume the responsibility of furnishing these supplies, provided I could have control of the purchasing officers and agents.
I propose to send to the Red River, beyond bonham, three regiments and a battalion at present, and to strengthen this force hereafter if necessary. I have ordered ammunition for small-arms, lead, and caps, to be sent to Brigadier-General Steele, and one 12-pounder howitzer, brass, and one 18-pounder gun. I hope also to be able to send a light battery with these regiments, and shall place Colonel Bankhead, an officer of experience and talent, in command, assigning him to duty with the rank of brigadier-general, subject to the approval of the President. I have no other officer whom I consider capable.
All of which I respectfully submit to the lieutenant-general commanding.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
Major-General, Commanding District.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT, &C., Houston, May 29, 1863.
Brigadier General W. R. BOGGS,
Chief of Staff for Lieutenant-General Smith:
GENERAL: I desire to invite the attention of the lieutenant-general commanding to General Orders, Numbers 82, series of 1862, Adjutants and Inspector General's Office, Richmond, which directs commander of conscripts west of the Mississippi to report and receive instructions from the commanding general of the Trans-Mississippi Department, and to report that on my arrival here I found many men subject to conscrip-