and Union Counties to look after public property. They were absent six days. Found a four-gun battery near Magnolia, in Columbia County. Two of the guns had been taken about twelve miles from town and hid. The party also reports a good many mules, horses, and wagons, formerly belonging to Confederate Government, and brought in twenty- seven muskets which they found in the houses of citizens. I have sent a small party with team to Gilmer, Tex., Fort he purpose of getting the books and records of the U. S. land office belonging to this district. The former receiver accompanies the party. I learned that he had taken the records to Gilmer by order of the State authorities, and sent for him to report. He knows just where they are, and says that everything is secure. The party goes via Shreveport, and are ordered to report to General Herron for any advice or instructions he may be able to give them. Expect them to return in fifteen days. I find that General Orme, Treasury agent at Memphis, is giving permission to a great many persons in this section to collect Confederate cotton, and allowing them one- fourth of all they collect in pounds of cotton, or of the net proceeds after the cotton is sold, for their services. one of the persons having such authority is a man named Chidester, who is quite notorious as a former Government mail contractor in this country. I presume You have heard of him. I think the whole thing is wrong, and in Chidester's case I have determined that he shall not touch a bale of Government cotton if I can help it, and I think I can. If You think I would be justified I will stop the whole proceeding I think that the deputy marshal, regularly appointed Treasury agents, and Government aids, with the assistance of the military, ought to be able to attend to that business. The appointment of these outsiders is a regular swindle. Chidester tells me that he can make $100,000 out of it in sixty days. Wouldn't it be better for the Government to have that amount! Now that the war is over, I feel like crushing out the thieves and swindlers. As soon as outpost train returns we will give the cotton business some attention ourselves. if my letters are too long or bore You let me know. I may write about some things that You do not care to be troubled with. As we are very short of officers at this post, I have ordered four companies of Twelfth Michigan to report here for duty. We have many keep small parties at different points to prevent the stealing of Government property, cotton particularly, which I am informed is being done to a considerable extent. I send a party to Union County for that purpose to- morrow. It is actually necessary. All very quiet here. We are now getting a respectable supply of forage on hand.
Very respectfully, Your obedient servant,
G. F. McGINNIS,
HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSOURI,
June 9, 1865- 9. 02 a. m.
The Second Ohio Cavalry is here at Benton Barracks. Let me know whether You want it at Leavenworth. It has 200 horses, but will be mounted immediately.