War of the Rebellion: Serial 102 Page 0649 Chapter LX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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such place, or with the proper authorities of the United States for the cessation of hostilities between the United States and Texas. We also beg leave to say that we are in possession of the views of the civil authorities of the State of Texas, as well as of many citizens, and that our object is the prompt and satisfactory restoration of the relations of Texas to the United States Government. We have just seen in the newspapers of this morning the convention entered into on the part of General E. K. Smith, commanding the Trans-Mississippi Department, and Major General E. R. S. Canby, commanding the Military Division of West Mississippi. Notwithstanding so much has been accomplished, we feel that a conference with yourself will promote the pacification and settlement of affairs in Texas. We have the honor to solicit a confederate with you at the earliest time that will suit your convenience.

We have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servants,

ASHBEL SMITH,

Colonel, C. S. Army,

W. P. BALLINGER,

Commissioners.

P. S. - I respectfully ask permission to send through headquarters of major-general commanding the accompanying note* to Lieutenant-General Buckner, C. S. Army.

ASHBEL SMITH.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI,

New Orleans, May 29, 1865.

Colonel ASHBEL SMITH, C. S. Army,

W. P. BALLINGER, Esq.,

Commissioners, &c., on board U. S. Steamer Altona,

off New Orleans, La.:

GENTLEMEN: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of this date, and in relation to so much of that communication as states that you are in possession of the views of the civil authorities of the State of Texas, as well as of many citizens, and that your object is the prompt and satisfactory restoration of the relations of Texas to the United States Government, I think it proper to state that the power of military commanders is limited virtually to the determination of questions that are purely military in their character, and they have no authority to entertain any question of a civil or political character. If with this understanding you sill desire the interview, it will give me great pleasure to meet you at 8 o'clock this evening, or at any hour to-morrow that may suit you convenience. I regret they my engagements this morning will not permit me to see you at an earlier hour. If 8 o'clock suits your convenience, or you will indicate another hour, I will send a staff officer to accompany you to the place of meeting. Captain Barrett, aide-de-camp, who will deliver this note, will take charge of and deliver any communication you may wish to send to General Buckner, who is still in this city.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. R. S. CANBY,

Major-General, Commanding.

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*Not found.

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