HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, Numbers 160.
New Orleans, November 8, 1864.
Theodore Pincus was arrested and tried for receiving $1,200 from Nicholas Bermingham for obtaining a permit from the custom-house for a trade store at Baton Rouge, previously refused to Bermingham. Of this he has been found guilty. It is contended by his counsel and some proof offered to show that this class off business is recognized in this community as legitimate. In this a great error has been committed. The custom-house, like all other offices of the Government, is accessible to any person seeking legitimate business and should be inaccessible to all others. Neither money nor influence should be the ground of granting permits. The employment of hired brokers who obtain their gains by procuring for the merchants in an underhand and secret way what the merchant himself on his own application cannot obtain, is manifestly injurious to fair dealing, an extortion on honest traders, and necessarily brings suspicion of illegal gains upon the officials who have charge of the business. All such dealings are, therefore, positively prohibited. In this case Mr. Theodore Pincus will repay to Nicholas Bermingham the sum of $600, being half of his brokerage fee. The sentence in this case is light, being the first that has come under the cognizance of the commanding general. Hereafter it will be much more severe.
By command of Major-General Hurlbut:
GEORGE B. DRAKE,
Major and Assistant-Adjutant General.
LITTLE ROCK, November 8, 1864.
GENERAL: I have received no reliable information from any part to the forces under Price since the dispatches of General Pleasonton, written at Fort Scott. I sent orders to General Thayer to use his cavalry to pick up stragglers in case Prices' routed troops should pass through his district, and to make the best use possible of the rest of his forces to damage Price, taking care to have Fort Smith secure against an assault. He had previously been ordered to draw in his outposts, with all the public property, on learning that Price was coming in that direction. I ordered all my available cavalry, about 3,000, well mounted and well appointed, under General West, with four 3-inch rifled guns, to move toward Dardanelle and to attack Price's retreating forces wherever they could find them. I have the utmost confidence in this command, and believe they are a match for anything Price can bring against them if they get together in time. I anticipated that Price would break up his command into detachments and demonstrate ad different points, while his main force would attempt to cross the Arkansas. Detachments were therefore sent out for the purpose of reconnoitering and talking the road to Fort Smith. They will concentrate at or near Dardanelle before the arrival there of the supply train mentioned in a previous dispatch. General Herron has passed on toward Fort Smith with an escort of 500 cavalry, making in all 3,500 cavalry from here. Magruder's force is all this side of the Washita. I presume they will attempt raids upon our lines until after Price has got