War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 1109 Chapter LIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

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HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,

Shreveport, December 13, 1864.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,

President of the Confederate States:

SIR: I have the honor to inclose a letter* from Brigadier-General Greer chief of the Conscript Bureau in this department. The condition of the currency west of the Mississippi is a question for grave consideration, threatening evils which if not remedied, must involve the failure of both civil and military administration. Confederate money is utterly valueless in Western Texas. Gold and silver are the only circulating medium, and the tide of specie currency is already washing the shores of Red River. All trade is made for coin or barter. The expenses of the Government, necessarily paid in its own issue, are already enormous and are rapidly increasing. I beg that this matter may meet with the careful consideration of the Executive, and whilst I doubt the wisdom of forcing a currency upon the people, I still think the subject so important that General Greer's recommendations merit attention. In this connection I would wish to call the attention of the President to the failure to supply this department with the funds necessary to carry on its administration and would refer him to my letter of September 28, to the Secretary of the Treasury a copy of which was forwarded to him. But $8,000,000 new issue has been received in this department for both civil and military branches of the Government. The outstanding indebtedness is over $60,000,000 (including fourteen month's pay due troops). There is much complaint and dissatisfaction, in the army, and it is but simple justice that the small pittance given the private in the field should be promptly paid.

I am, with great respect, Your Excellency's most obedient servant,

E. KIRBY SMITH,

General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,

Shreveport, La., December 13, 1864.

Major General J. G. WALKER,

Commanding District of Texas:

GENERAL: I inclose herewith a copy of a letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Broadwell, to which the commanding general invites your attention. He also directs me to say that before General Magruder was relieved from the command of the District of Texas he was instructed to withdraw all Ford's troops from the Rio Grande except Benavides' command, with the exception of Showalter's regiment and some companies of Pyron's. That command was illegally organized, and made up of deserters and conscripts. General Magruder was ordered to break up these organizations and assign the men to old regiments of infantry. Your attention is called to letter Numbers 4731 from these headquarters. The impossibility of maintaining other than a small force on the Rio Grande in the present depreciated state of our currency necessitates immediate compliance with the instructions therein contained.

I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. F. BELTON.

Assistant Adjutant-General.

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*Not found.

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