War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 1048 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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wise they must subsist on beef and salt until their comrades are relieved. Acknowledge by return courier receipt of this, and note the time when received.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. B. MAGRUDER,

Major-General, Commanding.

SHREVEPORT, November 15, 1864.

General BRAXTON BRAGG, Richmond, Va.:

MY DEAR GENERAL: General Smith declines assigning me to duty under Special Orders, Numbers 179, current series, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, on the ground of its injustice to Brigadier-General Greer, who has organized the Conscription Bureau, and on the further ground that it is improbable that a newcomer would perform the duties of the Bureau equally well. My orders, therefore, are suspended temporarily and General Smith will ask for their revocation. I confess myself much hurt at General Smith's action, although I acquit him of any desire to wound me personally or officially. Having reported for duty under orders of the War Department it creates considerable comment here that I should be refused, and inferences unfavorable to me are being made. My capacity being called in question I have reported the fact of the case to-day through General Smith, and requested that the matter be set before the President, so much am I hurt by the commanding general's action. If I sincerely believed that the general would lose anything by contesting this point I would let it go by default, but I do not think that that the service would suffer by my taking the position creditably I never would have accepted it. I take for granted that General Greer is efficient, energetic, and faithful. I am reluctant to have the public suppose that the War Department thinks me wanting in these qualities by revoking and reconsidering its action. I shall leave this question without further comment. I hope you appreciate my feelings in this matter. God knows I do not desire the position per se or to raise unnecessary issues and unimportant orders. To me, personally, I think the present one of importance.*

Believe me, yours, truly,

FRANCIS T. NICHOLLS.

OFFICE CHIEF INSP. FIELD TRANS. TRANS-MISS. DEPT.,

Shreveport, La., November 15, 1864.

Lieutenant Colonel A. H. COLE,

Inspector-General Field Transportation, Richmond, Va.:

COLONEL: I wrote to you dated November 4, 1864, and sent copy of Major E. A. Burk's report of work done in Texas. I now inclose you a consolidated report of the whole department, from which, though you can form no idea of the immense quantity of repair work done, including reapers, mowers, and threshers, necessary to secure and hay crops, and which work could not be done except in the shops under my charge, they having the only skilled labor in the country. I have made a personal inspection of the shops at Hempstead, Waco, Dallas, Paris, Mount Pleasant, Tyler, Ruskin, Tex.; Washington and Camden, in Arkansas; Shreveport, Keatchie, and Alexandria, in Louisiana. Considering the fact that the department in all its details has been organ-

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*Some strictly personal matter here omitted.

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