paymaster-general, of the duties of commissary of musters, mustering and disbursing officer, and superintendent of the recruiting service of this department.
Lieutenant Munson, assistant commissary of musters, will in addition to this other duties, perform the duties of mustering officer and report to Colonel Seawell.
By order of Brigadier-General Wright:
E. SPARROW PURDY,
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., October 15, 1863.
Lieutenant General E. K. SMITH,
GENERAL: Judge L. W. Hastings, of California, who desires authority to organize an expedition to Arizona, has laid before me the inclosed proposition, having in view the accomplishment of his proposed end. * The President is at present absent on a trip to the armies in Georgia and Mississippi, and, in consequence, I am unable to submit the subject for his advisement and decision. I have no hesitation, however, in considering the overthrow of Federal domination in Arizona and the repossession of that country through the instrumentality of forces to be drawn from California, as an end important to be accomplished and worthy of the favorable consideration of the Government, provided practicable means of attaining them are presented. I am unable to judge of the probability of such feeling existing in California as would lead to the contemplated organization of adequate forces, nor can I well determine whether, if men in sufficient willing to engage in the enterprise could be found, the vigilance of the Federal Government could be so far evaded as to enable them to start on the contemplated enterprise. It is very certain that a man combining influence, judgment, and capacity in a high degree would be requisite to initate and carry out successfully the plan. Judge Hastings is wholy unknown, and has not been able, from the absence of friends whom he expected to find in the State, to give references of as satisfactory a character as would be desirable. He may, however, be enabled by reference to acquaintances within your department to satisfy you as to his qualifications for this delicate and difficult duty. Supposing you satisfied, there would still remain the difficulty of providing and transmitting adequate funds for the enterprise, as they would necessarily have to be in specie. The trade between your department and Mexico might, however, give facilities for this suppose. Such funds, without further information of the character and responsibility of Judge Hastings, will, of course, only be intrusted to some comissioned officer of the Confederacy. Indeed, in any event, should be enterprise be countenanced, I recommend the selection of some capable and trustrwothy officers to proceed at least to the point where the suposed mines will reach Mexican soil, and from thence to arrange and conduct the expedition. With these general views I submit the matter to your own discretion, desirous, indeed, of its execution, but having no great confidence in its feasibility, and only ssanctioning it if decided on by your own superior judgment. No decisive events have occurred in Virginia since my last. General Lee is in movement
*See inclosure to Macwillie, et al., to President Davis, December 18, p. 704.