Colonel Gould, in accordance with these instructions, was sent our with as large a force of cavalry as could be spared. By an examination of the order, it will be seen that it was the design of Major-General Magruder that you should appoint an officer in your command to whom the officers and men referred to in General Orders, Numbers 38, should report.
The order of Colonel Gould, interferes with Major-General Magruder's instructions in this particular, and is therefore disapproved.
The officer at Bonham, commands should report, should act in concert with Colonel Gould, who was only charged with the execution of these orders, as far as making General Orders, Numbers 38, department headquarters, known, and disseminating it thoroughly, and making arrest in case of necessity.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
EDMUND P. TURNER,
October, 21, 1863.
Major General J. B. MAGRUDER:
MY DEAR GENERAL: I inclose you two official letters, * that you might be certain to see them and know something of my true condition here. There never has been any place where there was so little system, so much selfishness, and a general disposition to take all and leave none, as there has been up here; and the general authority to everybody-field, staff, and line-to come into the district for any and all purposes, and interfere one with another, has been and is still creating universal trouble and annoyance.
I thank you for the money sent me and medicines ordered to me, and assure you we need them very much, and hope they will soon be here.
Troops are beginning to get sick. I have ordered one-half furloughed for twenty days to sow wheat and gather corn, and the troops in camp seem to be satisfied and willing to do their duty; are drilling and improving, but need experienced officers to teach them and books to learn from.
I can't see how you conclude that I wanted to take the conscripts out of the State troops. I have never though it practicable, and if I had, General Smith's order settles it emphatically, and I have never permitted it done in any instance where I have been consulted, unless it may have been when the parties desired it and you consented.
From all I can learn, we need hardly expect an advance upon our northern border if Bragg has been entirely successful, unless it is a raid by jayhawkers and Indians from Kansas. But our domestic affairs are in a bad condition. I am now perfectly satisfied that there are not less than 1,000 deserters, from the army, conscription, and the militia, in the woods, ready to take to the brush, in this sub-district. The largest number in any one place is 30 miles from here, where there are from 200 to 400 at three camps, within 10 miles, all of whom can concentrate within two hours. They keep every road picketed that goes into their vicinity so perfectly that not a man, woman, or child goes near them that [they] don't know it; they have sympathizers all through this country, and, if they can't be induced to come out peaceably, we will have trouble and bloodshed enough in this section to make our
* Not found.