for the salt that may be obtained in the future; and as the item of bread is of vital importance to a large portion of the State, it would be well for the Legislature to include transportation for corn and wheat in any provision made for the transportation of salt. The exorbitant prices asked for every article of food, by those who are engaged in buying and selling for profit and many who produce them, is putting the means of living beyond the reach of many of our poor citizens; if permitted to go unchecked, will transfer the property of the country to the hands of the worst and least patriotic of our population. I ask that a law be passed prohibiting the buying and selling of grain for profit and its distillation into spirits, and that some reasonable price be fixed beyond which the extortioner cannot go without incurring a heavy penalty.
The military bill passed at the last session of the Legislature made no provision for the appointment of the staff of the major-general of the State militia. I recommend that authority be given to the major-general to appoint his staff, as the duties of his cannot be performed without such aid.
Treasury notes to the full amount authorized by the Legislature at its last session have been advanced on cotton. This act for the relief of the people and for supplying a sound circulating medium for the State has accomplished all that its most sanguine friends expected, and of the $2,500,000 appropriated by the Legislature for military purposes but $381,534 have been expended, leaving in the treasury a balance of $118,466. No further appropriation in this behalf is required.
For the information of the Legislature as to the condition of the State troops, I respectfully refer you to the report of Major Gen. T. C. Tupper, herewith transmitted. * The minute men now in the field have done good service, and they cannot be too highly commended. Their presence and efficiency have done much to restrain the inroads of the invading foe.
The State armory at Brandon is doing all that could be expected, with the limited means in our possession, in the construction and repairing of arms. For full information upon this subject I refer you to the report of the chief of ordnance, herewith transmitted. *
You will see by the report of the adjutant-general of the State that we now have forty-six regiments of infantry in the Confederate service, besides the cavalry and artillery and the unattached battalions and companies of the several arms which were organized by and reported to the Confederate authorities at Richmond, leaving no record of their existence or strength in the office of the adjutant-general in this State. Since your last session Mississippi has become the theater of war. After the fall of New Orleans and Memphis three sides of the State were exposed to the Northern plunderer. Until recently our people have suffered, compared with the four States adjoining, but little loss of property, for the enemy have been required to pay in blood for the plunder they gathered on our soil. Their efforts were mainly directed to clearing the Mississippi River of the only remaining obstruction to its free navigation. Some fortifications hastily constructed at Vicksburg were at the beginning of the contest scarcely deemed worthy of their notice, but after months past spent in bombarding, and at times the most furious that has ever occurred upon this continent, the united efforts of both the upper
* Not found.