The will establish a recruiting station at that place,and give such assistance consistent with other duties to the agent of the Treasury Department at that place in collecting abandoned property as he may require. They will be provided with twenty days' rations and 100 rounds of ammunition per man and two tents per company, with all their transportation excepting one wagon. A sufficient guard will be left in charge of the camp at this place. Notice will hereafter be sent of the time of departure.
By order of Brigadier General J. McArthur:
W. H. F. RANDALL,
Received an order the same day directing me to embark at 9 o'clock the next day as directed in Special Orders, Numbers 42.
Embarked on steamer Shenango February 15 for Grand Gulf, Miss., with five regimental and three post teams of the ten that were ordered to go with us; were not all taken for want of room. My command numbered 419 officers and men. Before starting a man by the name of Camp introduced himself to me as the Treasury agent whom I was to assist, presenting an order from General McArthur to permit no one, except Mr. Camp and 4 other persons named in the order, to go board the transport. Do not remember their names. Two of them had appointments as assistant special Treasury agents. Camp said the boat would return and bring down the seven remaining teams the next day; that we were going to haul corn which he had purchased and was going to purchase for the Government.
On the way down Camp hailed the steamer Thomas E. Tutt, and we learned that General Ellet was at Rodney or thereabouts. At Grand Gulf went a aboard the gun-boat Pittsburg; was informed that General Ellet had not been there for a week; was stopping a short distance below. I therefore continued on down the river, and reported to General Ellet at or near Rodney. Returned with him and passed the remainder of the night at Saint Joseph.
On 16th, was ordered by General Ellet to return to Grand Gulf and carry out General McArthur's instructions, reporting from time to time to him (General Ellet). He recommended that I employ my teams, after getting in some forage, in hauling out some cotton belonging to a Mr. Hamilton. I inquired how the Government was to be paid for the use of the teams; that I would be afraid to receive the money myself, as I had read of officers getting into a great deal of trouble handling cotton. He thought my quartermaster might receive it and pay it over to the post quartermaster at Vicksburg, but finally decided that I should make an entry on the back of the license, or permit to by, that the cotton had been transported at Government expense a certain distance, and then it would be collected where the cotton was sold. I was to impress and use all the teams I needed. The Treasury agents and cotton speculators continued on up to Vicksburg. Mr. Camp said he would return with the teams, and that we would collect C. S. A. and abandoned cotton. He did not return, and I have not seen him since. We fixed up our camp, and drilled from February 16 to 20.
I had met Mr. Hamilton; he was anxious to get out his cotton; told him what directions General Ellet had given and I was ready to send out my teams. I could not fix any price for the use of them. I would haul in the cotton; my men would guard the train and the cotton after it was hauled in, but he would have to pay the men for loading, unloading, and rolling it. That it was not the duty of soldiers to handle his cotton, and if they did it he must pay them.