isian before the troops here are organized, many men as well as much valuable property will be lost. I send herewith estimates for quartermaster's stores, funds, &c., which I hope will be furnished without delay, as there is nothing here. My requisition for a battery was approved by General Polk, but the company to which I expected to give it at first will not, I think, be raised, and I do not know of any Numbers 1 company to apply for. If you know of any really trusty battery, I would like to have it, for it could do much valuable service, but I would rather have none than a worthless one, though the moral effect of a battery here would be considerable. Davidson's battery might do if commanded by Lieutenant Thompson,and it seems to me that a board might get rid of Davidson.
I consider that I can with a proper force do much good here, perhaps in time restore the morale of the country, which is the first upon it. To this end I have ordered that no persons' or property shall go or come through the lines, and that persons attempting to violate the order shall forfeit their property, transportation, &c., and what few good officers I have already done much toward the enforcement of the order. The only difficulty I have had n enforcing it has been one interference on the part of the State authorities in issuing a writ of sequestration for certain property coming from the enemy's lines in exchange for cotton. I telegraphed you on the subject, and if I do not receive positive orders from you to respect the writ, I shall not do it. It is plainly an improper assumption of right on the part of the State authorities, inasmuch al all property coming from, as well as cotton, &c., going to, the enemy's lines is seized under order of Secretary of War (frequently repeated to my knowledge) and of the acts of Congress, and is a matter pertaining, if to any court, to the Confederate courts.
If I am to be checked thus in my efforts to stop this illicit traffic and intercourse with the enemy (which has so corrupted the people in this country that scarcely a man or woman within 10 miles of the enemy has not gone to Baton Rouge to trade and take the oath), my efforts will be futile. To show you that this trade can be stopped, and with how little risk it was attended, before my arrival here cotton has gone down in Clinton and Jackson from 40 cents per pound to 20 cents per pound. A rigid refusal to restore property sized, either to weeping girls, suffering widows (whose husbands have been killed in Confederate service), or to those whose only desire is to supply the poor soldiers, will, I think, put an end finally to this contaminating trade, for which so many excuses are offered. The difficulties are great and the field wide, but I do not despair of success. I want two more bonded quartermasters and commissaries each, and I want funds furnished to one of them in each department to pay the outstanding and irregular claims against their respective departments. Much complaint exists on this subject, and I know that large amounts are justly due. The payment of these claims would do much toward the restoration of confidence on the part of the people, among whom the idea seems to retail generally that the Government has given up the country, and that they must look out for themselves. I will undertake to see that the claims are audited property, if you will send me honest and industrious officers.
I have found it impossible so far to get General Polk's paymaster to send me funds for the payment of Winfield's battalion (which has not been paid for a year), though I have written and telegraphed to