War of the Rebellion: Serial 042 Page 0482 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

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circulation, and still further depreciate its value. These certificates, we believe, will be eagerly sought for investment. The exemption and security from impressment of cotton which remains in the hands of the planters cannot fail very greatly to enhance its value. We also desire to avail ourselves of all the transportation in the country owned by planters and others which can be made available in delivering cotton at the different depots, none of which will be farther west than San Antonio, and to do so we propose a rate of freight, payable in cotton, that will make it an inducement.

The wants of the army must be supplied at the earliest date. The interest of every man in the department is involved in this, and, for a limited time, individual wants must wait. For this reason, the one- half of any crop sold to us must be delivered at the Government depot before the other half can be removed.

The right of impressment, provided by law, belongs to the chief of this office. It will not be used, except in the case of those who are so unpatriotic as to sacrifice the interests of the country to private gain. Toward them it will be used with a just, impartial, and firm hand. The necessities of the military service leave no other alternative. All cotton attempted to be moved without the protection of an exemption from this office will be liable to impressment for Government purposes, and any interference with Government transportation by the holder of an exemption, or any of his agents, either by attempting to forestall the hiring of teams, or by offering or giving a higher rate of freight than the liberal terms proposed by this office, will cancel said exemption.

Agents will be appointed in the various districts or counties, and at the Government depots. These will be selected with care, to secure competent men, entitled to confidence. Any delinquency on the part of any of these agents, either known or reasonably suspected we hope will be at once reported to this office. We also request that all persons knowing of any cotton bought as Government cotton, left on plantations or elsewhere, not under the care of some unquestionable and responsible Government agent, will immediately report the same to this office. Books will be kept, exhibiting the entire transactions of the office, which may, at all reasonable times, be examined by any person desirous, in good faith, to understand its operations. W. P. Ballinger, esq., will act as our legal adviser,in order that we may avoid error ourselves, and hold all who deal with us to a strict accountability.

Planters of Texas, the plans of this office are well matured, its policy will be permanent,its course consistent, impartial, and firm. If proper confidence and assistance are extended to us by you, we feel confident of the best results toward thoroughly equipping our armies for our defense, restoring and increasing Government credit, checking unlawful people, enabling them to procure their needed supplies. Your cotton is contraband to the enemy; every bale falling into his hands is seized for his Government. We appeal to you, shall there not be united, harmonious, active, efficient co- operation, by devoting a portion of your cotton to the great duties of the crisis- the successful defense of Texas from enslavement and devastation!


Lieutenant- Colonel, and Chief.