extent improve its credit. With regard to cotton near Plaquemine, the Government has no cotton in that region. The cotton of the Government west of the Atchafalaya even has been removed as [far] as the parallel of this place. The cotton belonging to the Government important to dispose of is that on and west of the Ouachita River. I understand this amounts to 25,000 bales. Captain Stevenson's arrangement, if adopted, covers 16,000 bales. The remainder, I urge, should be sold without delay. To avoid mistakes, lists of all cotton already disposed of in the Ouachita Valley within this district should be furnished me. But Colonel Broadwell states that the points of delivery of the cotton sold will be designated by the cotton bureau. The points of delivery must be designated by me. The cotton bureau can no more decide what are proper points than it can decide on the movement of troops. It is entirely a military question.
I again desire to call the attention of the lieutenant-general commanding to the subject of private cotton, and the hardship inflicted on the owner by burning it. It is at the very moment we are withdrawing all protection from the citizen, leaving him to the enemy's mercy, that we destroy the only means he has of supporting his family. This must produce widespread hostility to our cause; in fact, has already done so. In the beginning of the struggle a great political influence was attributed to cotton. The withholding it from market, it was popularly believed, would materially shorten the struggle. Experience has shown the fallacy of these opinions. Now the people see in the destruction of their cotton a mere sacrifice of property, useless to the cause, but ruinous to individuals. I urge these views on the attention of the lieutenant-general commanding, because, from my point of view, they appear just to the citizen and beneficial to the Government.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT, Shreveport, La., January 11, 1864.
Captain W. C. QUANTRILL
[Through Brigadier-General McCulloch, Bonham, Tex.]:
CAPTAIN: The lieutenant-general commanding directs me to revoke the orders instructing you to report to Lieutenant-General Holmes.
At the time they were issued active operations against the enemy in Arkansas were contemplated, and it was desirable to have all the re-enforcements possible concentrated. The emergency in that quarter having passed, the lieutenant-general directs that you proceed as rapidly as possible to the headquarters of Major-General Magruder with your command, where you will immediately be placed in the face of the enemy. You will start as soon as possible, and acknowledge the receipt of this letter.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. H. THOMSON,