what command they may belonged to, and attach them temporarily to his command. He will report with his command to his division commander on or before the 20th of December next.
By order of Major-General Price:
L. A. MACLEAN,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS,
Camden, November 2, 1864.
Brigadier General W. R. BOGGS,
Chief of Staff, Shreveport, La.:
GENERAL: I have received reports from the Mississippi River (not perfectly reliable) to the effect that 1,600 cavalry (Federal) were landed at Ashton on the 27th of October. Report says they are to march to Monticello via Hamburg. The officer making this report adds, "There appears to be a great deal of cotton smuggling going on," and I am of the opinion that this raid is made to send scouting parties out to collect and ship the cotton more easily. Please inform me what authority Colonel Polk and Major Robinson have to trade this article to the Federals. Hicks, Malone, and Hugh, who have boats on the river, have paper purporting to come from General Smith, giving them "permission to trade." Colonel Polk and Major Robinson were found in charge of the cotton business when I arrived, and General Wharton reports that it is impossible to subsist cavalry in that region of country. The enemy can certainly capture a good deal of cotton there whenever he chooses to send a sufficient force from the river to these localities. Under the recent Federal regulations adopted at Washington, by which only one-third the value of cotton can be paid in supplies for the army, the rest to be paid in greenbacks, it is clear to me that even if it were lawful to carry on this trade with the enemy it would not be beneficial to do so. Every bale of cotton sent to the enemy is equivalent to a bill of exchange on Europe for at least $400 in specie. If, then, any large amount of cotton should fall into his hands or reach him in any way, he will be relieved to that extent from the necessity of sending specie abroad, and his financial condition will improve in precise proportion to the quantity of cotton he receives. The policy of burning the cotton first adopted by Congress, and which is still believed to be required by law, seems under the circumstances to be the best. I have written two communications on this subject since assuming command of this district. They were to the following effect:
First. That if it be the settled policy of the authorities in Richmond and the commanding general of the Trans-Mississippi Department to obtain supplies from the enemy for the army, payable in cotton, the most efficient arrangements should be made to accomplish the purpose, the army being greatly in need of clothing.
Second. That in making these arrangements, as few persons should be employed as possible, as trade in cotton demoralizes our people more rapidly than it could be done in any other way.
I carefully abstained from expressing an opinion as to the propriety of this policy, because as long as the cotton was under our protection, and most likely to fall immediately into the hands of the enemy, I considered it a question for the authorities at Richmond, or the commanding-general of the Trans-Mississippi Department, to decide; but now
65 R R-VOL XLI, PT IV