Judge Gray declines exercising control over the cotton interests of the Government; he has no instructions on the subject. The acquisition of cotton, its sale, and the raising of funds should be under the control of the Treasury Department. I earnestly desire to be relieved from the embarrassments attending its direction, and request that legislative enactments may definitely declare the powers and determine the mode by which this staple is to be made the medium for supplying the department. Major Bryan carries with him the rough draft of a bill proposed by Mr. Ballinger, who has been associated with the Texas cotton office as its legal adviser. The bill is objectionable in some of its features; it virtually makes the military subservient to and under the control of the cotton office, and would eventually result in a clash of authorities.
In framing a bill the Treasury Department should alone be charged with the acquisition and sale of cotton. The money should go into the Treasury. The purchasing and selling agents should be separate and act as checks on each other. The War Department should be charged, through its agents and bureau, with the contracting for and the purchasing of army supplies, and the funds necessary should be furnished by the Treasury Department upon estimates and requisitions made by the chiefs of bureau, approved by the department commander. So vitally necessary do I regard legislative action on this matter that I would gladly accept any bill legalizing the use of cotton in the purchase of supplies. After the battles in Louisiana and Arkansas I found myself compelled to assign officers to duty with increased rank. The appointments of these officers were won by their services. The efficiency of the command engaged in campaign and its morale necessitated the measure. I trust the appointments of these officers will be made by Your Excellency and their merit rewarded by promotion.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. K. SMITH,
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, May 12, 1864.
General Smith wishes you to hurry to Campti the infantry force intended for General Taylor as fast as possible. Nothing particular from below.
S. S. ANDERSON,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WEST LOUISIANA,
In the Field, Bayou Boeuf, May 12, 1864.
Major General J. B. MAGRUDER,
Commanding District of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona:
MY DEAR GENERAL: I had the pleasure last evening to receive your much esteemed letter of the 9th instant, bringing me the gratifying intelligence of the brilliant success of your troops at the Cal