which, if properly led and guided, would so clean out the enemy's force as to enable the loyal people to hold their elections in all the counties between the White and Mississippi Rivers on the 14th of March next.
I also suggest, as General Steele commands all the State of Arkansas, that he occupy and fortify a position opposite Memphis, to be commanded by an able and discreet officer, who will regulate the trade of Memphis into the interior and prohibit the landing of any merchandise between that post and Helena. The colored troops in the department could furnish the labor to make the fortifications with dispatch. I could elaborate the reasons for these suggestions, and would do so, but that I judge them unnecessary, in the confident belief that General Steele already understands them better than myself.
The seven companies of the Fifteenth Illinois Cavalry are worthy of praise for having captured at least 400 rebels since they have been under my command. The most successful raids have been made by using a boat guarded by colored troops, which I have sent to points on the Saint Francis, White, and Mississippi Rivers, and thus making expeditions that were secure.
Your obedient servant,
N. B. BUFORD,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Saint Louis, February 17, 1864.
Mr. JAMES L. FAWCETT,
Saint Louis, Mo.:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 1st instant, requesting the revocation of the order suppressing the newspaper formerly published in this city by you. In reply I am directed by the major-general commanding to inform you that you are authorized to resume its issue, and continue it so long as it appear to be truly loyal in its tome and sentiment, of which the major-general commanding (or higher military authority) will judge. I am further directed by the commanding general to say that while his duties as department commander point directly to a non-interference with all ordinary political questions agitating the people within the limits of this military department, he nevertheless considers that the publication of any article tending to weaken the military power of the nation by exciting resistance to the constituted authorities would be of grave military importance, and any paper in this department publishing such articles will be suppressed as a military necessity. With this understanding you are perfectly at liberty to resume the publication of your paper, and the commanding general indulges in the hope that it will be conducted in a spirit to conduce to the furtherance of our cause and the welfare of our country.
Until further orders you will please furnish these headquarters with three copies of your daily issue.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
O. D. GREENE,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.