which, it is believed, can never be paid under present system, have so depreciated the Government credit as to render it impossible to proceed further on credit. Without cash payments, railroads, steam-boats, citizens and soldiers, will no longer work, sell, or fight. Something must be done immediately. As it seems the Treasury cannot furnish money,would it not be well to authorize the sale of cotton, under the direction of agents of the War and Treasury Departments? Cotton can be sold and proceeds most advantageously applied to payment of current expenses and outstanding accounts. Without some such measure of financial relief it will be impossible to get along here, particularly if, as seems probable, communication with Richmond shall be cut off.
WAR DEPARTMENT, February 24, 1865.
Respectfully referred to Secretary of Treasury for material for an answer by telegram on the points mentioned.
JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE,
Secretary of War.
Respectfully returned to honorable Secretary of War, and his attention directed to the letter and telegram inclose, addressed to J. W. Clapp.* These the Secretary of War is respectfully requested to forward himself in the way best calculated to insure their reception.
G. A. TRENHOLM,
Secretary of Treasury.
MACON, February 14, 1865
Lieutenant General R. TAYLOR,
GENERAL: I send my quartermaster-general to Meridian to consult with the chief quartermaster and commissary on the subject of forage and rations for the militia. He fully understands the difficulties involved and can be explain them more fully than in a letter. In many counties subsistence cannot be had except by purchase and impressment, and the militia are generally poor men who have not the money to advance. I have therefore approved an estimate for the commutation for one month in advance. The month of March is estimated for, as on account of the nearness of the time for the meeting of the Legislature I thought it best not to make the call until they met, as I shall ask them to extend the term of service and make other changes to render the service more efficient; also to remove the doubt whether I have the power to call for them except in case of "an emergency," arising from a present invasion. It will be necessary that the arms lent by the State and now at Meridian shall be returned, and some ammunition will be required, but not a large amount.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Governor of Mississippi.