War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0719 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

Search Civil War Official Records

In February last the Committee on Public Safety, acting with full power under an ordinance of the convention, sent some troops to Fort Brown and other points on the Lower Rio Grande. These companies were mustered into the service of the State for six months. An opportunity was subsequently extended to them of being received into the Confederate Army. This they refused to do and were therefore State troops to the time of the expiration of their term of service. Just before the time of their enlistment was completed Colonel Charles Lovenskiold was sent as a special agent to the Rio Grande to ascertain their condition, investigate the causes of certain disaffection which was said to exist, muster them out of service, and have them transported to Victoria. This agent has thus far discharge his duty with signal promptitude and ability. The business, however, has proved one of such extent that he has not yet completed it sufficiently to make his final report. These troops, which have undergone many hardships and privations, could not be paid even in treasury warrants. There was only the power to issue to them certificates of debt, and their payment is a subject to which the early attention of the Legislature is invited.

Some complaints have reached the Executive to the effect that this command has suffered from the negligence of the authorities of the State. These troops had been sent out on a suddenly conceived expedition and without that thorough organization of the quartermaster's and commissary departments adopted every possible means to insure their comfort. The reports from this officer indicate occasionally an approaching want of supplies, but in many of them he announces having made temporary arrangements, and upon the 30th of June he says: "We have supplies enough on hand for two months to come," which time would complete the period for which the troops were enlisted. These facts, in addition to the one that the Legislature had made no provision for the purchase and transportation of supplies twill permit nothing reprehensible to attach to the authorities of the State in regard to it.

By act of the last Legislature the Governor was required to negotiate a loan of $1,000,000 by having the bonds of the State to that amount executed and placed in the hands of an agent to be sold from time to time, and the proceeds of sale deposited in some bank in the city of New Orleans. It was attempted promptly to carry out the requirements of this law by the appointment, as agent of the State to negotiate the loan, of General E. B. Nichols, of Galveston. He was, as will be seen by documents (Doc. B) herewith submitted,* property accredited for the purposes of his mission and fully instructed as to his powers and duties. He has only partially succeeded. The bonds to be procured have reached this department and are now deposited in the treasurer's office. He, however, did not succeed in negotiating the loan or any portion of the same. His report shows the causes-consequent upon the financial depression of the country-which operated against the accomplishment of the desired object. This matter is commended to the consideration of your honorable body for such action as you may deem necessary. The law is still in force and the authority to the agent unrevoked. Whether or not the existing condition of affairs will justify the continuance of the effort to carry out the intention of the Legislature in this respect is a question which addresses itself forcibly to your determination. In obedience to this same law there is now being collected


*Not found.