War of the Rebellion: Serial 042 Page 0087 Chapter XXXVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,

Shreveport, La., June 27, 1863.

Major General J. B. MAGRUDER,

Commanding District of Texas, &c.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of May 29, 1863. The subdivision of a district is a matter within the control of a district commander. Your order placing Colonel Bankhead in command of the third sub-district, indicates a similar view taken by yourself.

I inclose you copies of letters which, with General Scurry's letter of the 10th of May, will explain the reasons for Major W. H. Thomas' action. The proximity of the Northern Sub-District to these headquarters, the absence of yourself on the Rio Grande and your chief commissary at San Antonio, the urgent appeals made to me control the actions of agents and prevent competition before the wheat crop came into market, and the necessity for immediate action, caused me to sustain Major Thomas. He was instructed to inform the chief commissary of your district of his action and the reasons and necessities therefor. Orders or a letter from this office should at the same time have been sent to you.

On the receipt of your letter from Houston, Major Thomas immediately annulled his action in the Northern Sub-District of Texas. It remains under your control.

While it is not my desire or intention to interfere in the several district commands, the chiefs of the several departments, acting under my instructions, have the general control of this department sin the several district, and, after consulting with the chief officers of the districts, can establish a general system of action throughout the entire department; and, should the public interests require it, as was the case in the wheat-growing region of Northern Texas, they can control, as far as the operations of their departments are concerned, any section of country for a special purpose and for a limited period of time.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. KIRBY SMITH,

Lieutenant-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,

Shreveport, La., June 28, 1863.

Captain THOMAS W. BENT, C. S. Navy:

CAPTAIN: The arrival of a vessel of war off the Rio Grande, armed with Whitworth guns, and which I propose to purchase and turn over to the Confederate States Navy, renders it necessary that a naval officer should be at once sent to that point.

As the gunboat Missouri cannot in all probability be put in active service until the rise of the Red River next winter, giving ample time to obtain another commander, I respectfully request that Captain Fauntleroy may be relieved from his present command, that in the event of purchase he may be assigned to the command of the vessel above mentioned.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. KIRBY SMITH,

Lieutenant-General.