is no such thing as property without government. Of course, we think that our Government (which is still yours) is the best and easiest put in full operation here. You are still citizens of United States and of the State of Mississippi. You have only to begin and form one precinct, then another; soon your country will have such organization that the military authorities would respect it. The example of one county would infect another, and that another, in a compound ratio, and it would not be long till the whole State would have such strength by association that, with the assistance of the United States, you could defy any insurgent force. The moment the State can hold an open, fair election, and send Senators and Members to Congress, I doubt not they would be received, and then Mississippi would again be as much a part of our Government as Indiana and Kentucky now are, equal to them in all respects, and could soon have courts, laws, and all the machinery of civil government. Until that is done, it is idle to talk about little annoyances, such as your refer to at Deer Creek and Roach's. Al long as war lasts these troubles will exist, and in truth, the longer the war is protracted, the more bitter will be the feeling, and the poor people will to bear it, for they cannot help themselves.
General Grant can give you now no permanent assurance or guaranties, nor can I, nor can anybody. Of necessity, in war the commander on the spot is the judge, and may take your house, your fields, your everything, and turn you all out, helpless, to starve. It may be wrong, but that don't alter the case. In war you can't help yourselves, and the only possible remedy is to stop war. I know this is no easy task, but it is well for you to look the fact square in the face and let your thoughts and acts tend to the great solution. Those who led the people into war promised all manner of good things to you, and where are their promises? A child may fire a city, but it takes a host of strong men to extinguish it. So a demagogue may fire the minds of a whole people, but it will take a host like ourselves to subdue the flames of anger thus begotten. The task is a mammoth one, but still you will in after years be held recreant if you do not lend your humble assistance. I know that hundreds and thousands of good Southern men now admit their error in appealing to war, and are engaged in the worthy effort to stop it before all is lost. Look around you and see the wreck. Let your minds contemplate the whole South in like chaos and disorder, and what a picture! Those who die by the bullet are lucky compared to those poor fathers and wives and children who see their all taken and themselves left to perish, or linger out their few years in ruined poverty. Our duty is not to build up; it is rather to destroy both the rebel army and whatever of wealth or property it has founded its boasted strength upon. Therefore don't look to any army to help you; act for yourselves. Study your real duties to yourselves and families, and if you remain inert, or passively friendly to the power that threatens our national existence, you must reap the full consequences, but if, like true men, you come out boldly, and plainly assert that the Government of the United States is the only power on earth which can insure to the inhabitants of America that protection to life, property, and fame which alone can make life tolerable, your will have some reason to ask of us protection and assistance, otherwise not.
General Grant is absent. I doubt if he will have time to notice your petition as he deals with a larger sphere, and I have only re-