Since the regiment has been serving in Lower Louisiana, I have heard nothing prejudicial to its discipline.
The recommendation of Colonel Luckett for the command of the Arizona Brigade is a good one, and is approved.
It is unnecessary for the War Department to be troubled with the division of Major-General Magruder's district into sub-districts, as he has the power to do so. His recommendation that brigadiers be appointed to command each of the proposed sub-districts is worthy the careful consideration of the Department. The commanders of those sub-districts would have large territories and many people to control, and it seems proper their rank should be commensurate with the responsibility. I do not see the necessity of appointing the two major-generals recommended, but if it is thought advisable to appoint them, I respectfully recommend that Brigadier-General Scurry be appointed to the command of the two eastern districts, and that Brigadier-General Slaughter, now at Mobile, be promoted and appointed to the command of the two western districts.
I am very much afraid Major Hart has failed in his efforts to secure supplies through Mexico. Requisitions made on him by department officers remain unfilled. I declined ordering funds to be issued to him by the depositaries without a warrant from the Treasury Department. It would have been illegal for me to comply, and I did not think the circumstances warranted my assuming such authority. I have recommended to the Secretary of the Treasury, in view of the possibility of communication with Richmond being permanently cut off, that an officer of the Treasury, of tried experience and ability, be sent here, with full instructions and authority to act for the Treasury Department. Such an officer might issue warrants on the depositories, upon estimates made and approved at department headquarters.
The medical board, now in session here, has instructions, through the Surgeon-General, to examine all officers acting as surgeons and assistant surgeons of regiments, without reference to their appointments. I have asked that authority be given the department commander to give initiations to come before a medical board. It occurs to me that, owing to the difficulties of communicating with the capital, it would promote the interests of the Medical Department, also, to authorize the department commander to order medical boards of examination whenever the necessities of the department require. When I came here, I found the conscript bureau without a head, and, therefore, without organization and system. I have appointed Brigadier-General Green commandant of conscripts for the entire Trans-Mississippi Department, and I hope very soon to have that important bureau working systematically and efficiently.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
JULY 10, 1863.
I respectfully refer the within to the President for his early consideration and his instructions on the recommendations made.
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
JULY 18, 1863.
The difficulty of communicating with General Smith renders it necessary to perfect the organization so as to require few references to or