agement to General Magruder, you will appreciate the greater weight which the President will be apt to give to your well-considered recommendations of officers deemed necessary by the commanding general of the department.
I regret much to hear that the efforts of Major Hart to secure supplies through Mexico have proved less successful than was anticipated. He was appointed and large trust reposed in him upon very strong recommendation of his great influence and remarkable energy, as manifested in his past transaction in business on the border. I fear he has been embarrassed both by the difficulty of obtaining cotton and transportation, and by the want of funds with which, under the late military operations, it was almost impracticable to furnish him. Efforts are being made to remit to him by direct messengers, as well as by the Secretary of the Treasury to send large amounts of money for the general use of the department via Nassau.
I have not been successful in inducing the Secretary of the Treasury to devise and establish an office of issue in the Trans-Mississippi Department. He deems the obstacles insuperable at present. The desire you express for authority to regulate medical boards within your department and to extend invitations is readily accorded. I inclose, however, a suggestion made by the Surgeon-General on the subject,* to which I invite your attention, and, if no objection exists, as none appears to me, I would prefer you to conform.
I avail myself of the opportunity to transmit you a memorandum* sent by one of the scouts of the Signal Corps, now on the Potomac River, and said to be derived from a reliable source in Washington. I have not found the information furnished by the Signal Corps specially worthy of credence; but as this is stated to be received from undoubted friends,having peculiar sources of information, I deem it best to send it to you for such consideration as it may deserve. I confess it does not strike me as having much probability, as the march of a column of even greater force over such an extent of country prove both difficult and hazardous in the extreme.
With high regard and respect, your obedient servant,
JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., September 7, 1863.
Major General J. B. MAGRUDER,
Commanding District of Texas, &c.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 1st instant. I will not fix the point for your headquarters, but leave it to your own judgment to select the most suitable place from which you can give your attention to the various wants of your districts. It may be Houston, or a point near the termination of the railroad to Navasota.
Only your disposable troops were ordered to the Northern Sub-District as a support to Brigadier-General Steele. In the letter of the 28th ultimo, signed by Brigadier-General Boggs, the object was to push forward the organization of the State troops, and to bring them into the field at points within supporting distance of an invasion either from Arkansas, Louisiana, or the Indian Territory.