War of the Rebellion: Serial 084 Page 1018 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS- MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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This matter shows the importance of your keeping up constant communication with your friends on this side of the Mississippi, and I do hope that you will keep me constantly advised as to the condition of affairs in the trans- Mississippi. If you will send a courier twice a month it would be of great use to us all. We have heard nothing from Arkansas upon which we can place any reliance at all since the 1st of June, nor have I any idea whether you are at Camden, at Little Rock, or at Jacksonport, except that I infer from Yankee papers that you are still at Camden. It will require only two or three men to establish a semi- monthly line between this place and your headquarters, and whilst you can in that way keep us informed as to what is happening near you,we can at the same time keep you all regularly informed as to what is occurring on this side ofthe Mississippi. You have, fortunately, three or four gentlemen near you who are excellent writers, and upon whose accounts we could always rely and upon the faith of whose statements we could always speak. Among these are Major Cabell, Major Maclean, and Doctor McPheeters,. Let me urge you to employ Hardesty on this duty. He is trustworthy, intelligent, perfectly familiar with the country,a nd in every way the best man that I know for the service. I hope that you will at least send him back with full accounts of all that has happened since I left,and with copies of you official reports of the campaign in Arkansas, &c. I will use these in such way as not to compromise you in any degree. Have all the letters intended for me put in one package and addressed to care of Major-General Maury, Mobile,a nd direct the courier to leave it with Colonel Mhoon, or, if the enemy should happen to occupy this country, to take it to the headquarters of the general commanding this department. I shall remain at Mobile or in reach of the city a month or more awaiting letters from you.

]I hope that you all intend to hold an election for members of the Legislature, &c., this winter. I presume that the Governor might be induced to order one. If not, a convention should be held in the fall and a day fixed for the election in time to notify the troops here of the fact. The election ought to beheld in the winter whilst the troops are quiet,and it should be held if possible within the State, or at least a portion ofthe army should be moved into the State for the purpose of holding it there, though I do not think this at all essential. Those who are opposed to the re- election of Governor Reynolds had better concede that point,if it be necessary, than by refusing to concede it prevent an election and leave the whole powers ofthe Government within his uncontrolled possession for an indefinite time. Those who are opposed to his election must remember that unless an election is held he will hold onto the office and exercise without control all the powers ofthe executive and legislative departments,and they must know that it is better for the State that he should be a legitimate Governor, exercising its legitimate duties in co- operation with a Legislature,than that he should continue to exercise,after the expiration of his present term of office, what will then be an autocratic, despotic, and illegal authority. Don't understand me as advocating Governor Reynolds' re- election. That is a matter in which I do no desire to take part. I simply mean to say that it would be better to re-elect him than have no Legislature.

I often,indeed constantly, regret my separation from you, my dear general, and feel that it would have been better had I kept by your side to the end of the war,but the past has become the irrevocable past. I hope, however, that you will all continue to think of me with the