HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., February 23, 1864.
GENERAL: In reply to your letter dated February 2, inclosing the report of Major Levy, assistant inspector-general, I am directed by the lieutenant-general commanding to say that whenever it is possible for enrolling officers to collect men he has determined not to permit new organizations to be raised, but if a regiment of mounted men can be raised as proposed by Major Levy from men without your lines you are directed to grant the necessary authority. He directs me to urge upon you the necessity of every precaution to prevent abuse of the authority you may grant, by men being permitted to join this regiment who can and ought to be enrolled in regiments now in the service.
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. R. BOGGS,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WEST LOUISIANA,
Alexandria, February 23, 1864.
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose a copy of a communication from Brigadier-General Liddell on the subject of cotton. This officer being a resident of the region in question, his views are worthy of attention as regards the temper of the people. His proposition to permit the exportation under conditions other than the law now imposes cannot, I presume, be entertained. Nothing but the most imperious necessity would, it is supposed, induce a departure from the laws governing the cotton trade. The last suggestion of General Liddell is to leave one-tenth of the cotton in seed to the owners in the event that ordes are given to burn before an advance of the enemy. I have felt a deep anxiety to alleviate the burdens of the war on the people, and considered to tendency of the destruction of their property to alienate their affections from the Government, but the effect of any trading both on the temper of our people and on the currency has compelled me reluctantly to change my previous opinions, and it is now my deliberate judgement that every ounce of cotton ought to be destroyed before an advance of the enemy. So far the eft fort to obtain supplies in exchange for cotton has produced no result. Some medicines have been smuggled through, and we will in time procure remedial agents in considerable quantities, perhaps adequate to the supply of the department.
I have had some correspondence with two of the leading civil officers of the Federal Government at New Orleans on this subject. They were very desirous of opining the trade, but failed to make arrangements for getting out goods. They then attempted to induce me to modify my terms and take one-fourth the value of cotton in goods and the remainder in sterling. I refused, and informed them there would be no change in my terms, viz, the goods first at invoice price, then the cotton at 25 cents per pound in Federal currency. No cotton should under my circumstances be permitted to