commerce and a large extent of country, and I have been able to remain here only by means of the supplies for which the cotton was sold. Necessity dictated the course and results have vindicated it. Our advices from matamoras are good. The Yankees suppress all the papers. They did not visit the Races until three days after the skirmish. They took their ambulances up on the other side. A great deal of ammunition has been lost for want of cartridge-boxes. We are manufacturing both. I purpose moving below very soon.
Your very obedient servant,
JOHN S. FORD,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF EASTERN ARKANSAS,
Helena, July 8, 1864.
Brigadier General JO. O. SHELBY, C. S. Army:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 5th instant is received by the hands of Captain Dorsey, who has released at my picket-post Captain Hickey, Paymaster Sims, and Master's Mate Wild, who will proceed to report to Admiral Porter, U. S. Navy, their commander, and who will doubtless observe the terms of their parole or comply with the alterations of its terms. At this time I have in custody several officers and soldiers, all of whom I hold as prisoners of war. Lieutenant Casteel and five other prisoners are treated exactly as the others, with the exception that special precautions are taken every night to prevent their escape, while I await an answer to my communication to higher authorities concerning them. Is hall do no act to increase the necessaries of the state of war. I ask no better treatment for any prisoners of our who fall into your hands than I give to them in custody here. On the night of the 2nd of July the steamer Mariner, which was high and dry aground on a bar near the mouth of the Saint Francis River, was burned by a party of soldiers, and it is reported to me they were commanded by Captain McCoy, and that some of them wore our uniforms, and that they reported the boat was burned by your orders. This boat was private property and had no public stores on board. It had been aground thirty days. If it should be deemed necessary and just to retaliate on private property for this act by the torch you can readily imagine the desolation that would ensue. I trust it will never be my fortune to engage in acts that produce no other result than to increase the horrors of war.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
N. B. BUFORD,
SPECIAL ORDERS, ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 159.
Richmond, July 8, 1864.
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XXVI. The order of General E. Kirby Smith, commanding Trans-Mississippi Department, assigning Captain George W. Helm to duty in the niter and mining service, dated July 1, 1864, is hereby confirmed and made the order of the War Department.
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By command of the Secretary of War:
SAML. W. MELTON,