proper men, planters, be employed to visit the different slave counties with your appeal, and use every effort to induce the owner to hire as many as he can spare from his plantation, and, after every effort has been used, and the necessary number not obtained, then, with great prudence, a pro rate assessment should be made upon the slaveholders, and the number required be impressed, in accordance with the law of impressment; but this should be done with great precaution, so as to wound the sensibilities of the people as little as possible, for it is of the first importance to obtain not only our full strength in the ranks, but keep those at home loyal and zealous in support of our cause and efforts. It is suggested, in view of the State election coming off on the first Monday in August, and as much importance may be attached to the results of that election, it is desirable that no additional exciting cause should be presented that may influence the minds of voters, consequently it would be advisable not to use the impressment law prior to the election.
In General Smith's letter to you of the 23 instant,* authority was given you to impress cotton, to secure the munitions of war on the Sea Queen. General Smith suggests not to make the impressment east of the Nueces until after the said election, but confine it to and near the Rio Grande. In reference to the letter above referred to, I am directed by Lieutenant-General Smith to say it was not as comprehensive as it should have been, as it was intended to embrace all supplies whatsoever comprising the cargo of the Sea Queen; you will, therefore, be governed accordingly.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. S. ANDERSON,
[JUNE 26, 1863.-For Johnston to Smith, in relation to affairs at Vicksburg, see Series I, Vol. XXIV, Part III, p. 979.]
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., June 27, 1863.
Major General J. B. MAGRUDER,
Commanding District of Texas, &c.:
GENERAL: Inclosed you will find the copy of a report from C. LeD. Elgee, aide-de-camp to General Taylor, of his interview with General Johnston.+ The information given in regard to the state of affairs on and east of the Mississippi renders it most important that vigorous efforts should be made to strengthen our forces in the field, and also to obtain as quickly as possible all the ordnance stores that can be had.
The troops in the field are poorly armed, and some of them not armed at all. Should Vicksburg fall, I regard an attempt to occupy Louisiana by the enemy as certain, and an invasion of Texas as probable. Your call upon the Governor of Texas for 10,000 State troops evidenced wise forecast, and you will spare no efforts to make them effective.
I have the honor to be, respectfully, &c.,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
*See Smith to Magruder, June 23, 1863, p. 78.
+See of June 22, p. 74.