War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 0836 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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be lost. He has performed much labor in this department, and monuments of his military skill are to be seen on every hand. How unkind it is, then, to him personally (to say nothing of the public interest which is to be so seriously damaged, as I believe) when he has so much around him in which he has a deep interest, the result of his skill and valor, to remove General Steele from this field of his usefulness, and at a time, too, when others are to reap all the benefits of his grand labors. In politics General Steele has been your friend, and on a recent occasion, when asked if he was not for General McClellan, he replied that, if his own brother was the opponent of Mr. Lincoln, he should vote for you. General Steele is the most popular man, by far odds, we have in the State. He has the confidence and respect of all parties, and has done more and can do more to restore Arkansas to her former relations to the Union than any other man anywhere. He has enemies, and so have you, and his removal at this time is as unjust to him as the triumph of your enemies would have been over you at the late election. General Steele was performing a work here; why not leave him to accomplish it, and be as generous to him as the people have been to you? Remember the scripture rule, "Do unto others," &c. General Steele has made Arkansas what she is, and whatever loyalty she has the country is indebted to him for. He is familiar with our country and people, and can do more to restore peace and order than any man you can send in his place. Then return him to us at once, and thereby do justice to him and render a lasting favor to the people here, for which they will ever be grateful.

Very respectfully,

C. P. BERTRAND,

Late Mayor, &c.

P. S.-Since writing the above an order, as I am informed, has been received here from General Canby, directing the immediate evacuation of Fort Smith and Van Buren. Does he mean to abandon the State? And if such is his purpose, will you allow him to do it? Do you know that this abandons one entire Congressional district and the whole of another, save two orr three counties, and that two-thirds of the members and perhaps three-fourths of the Legislature, now in session here, are furnished from the district of country thus to be abandoned and given up? This comes of putting in place men who are ignorant of the country and removing those who have and know how to defend it. It is said General Steele is unpopular with his army. To show how false this statement is, it is only necessary to say that so soon as it was understood he was to leave here, a subscription was immediately gotten up, in the army, to purchase him a sword, as a mark of their confidence and affection, and no man is allowed to contribute more than $1, so that all may have an opportunity to join in this honor to their brave commander. Some thousands of dollars, I learn, are and will be raised.

C. P. B.

[Inclosure.]

FRIDAY MORNING, December 9, 1864.

THE MEETING LAST NIGHT.

We venture to say that never before was there such unanimity of feeling as exhibited by our people when it was understood that an order had been issued by General Canby relieving General Steele from