November 2, 1863,
Lieutenant-General E. Kirby Smith to Brigadier General Henry E. McCulloch
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., November 2, 1863.
Brig. Gen. HENRY E. MCCULLOCH,
Commanding Northern Sub-District of Texas:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 23d October, with an inclosed copy of General Greer's communication of the 16th October, has been received. General Greer's is a proper letter, and places the whole matter clearly before you.
I had intended making you the commandant of conscripts of the Northern Sub-District of Texas; on consulting the law, I found no authority for dividing the State, and you would have been in charge of a sub-district under Colonel Ford's orders, who is by law the command-and for the whole State. I then assigned Major Martin as chief enrolling officer in charge of your district, with instructions for him to consult with you, that he might receive your support and co-operation in enforcing the law. Major Martin is represented as an active, energetic officer, and, knowing your zeal and the interest you have expressed in seeing the conscripts all brought into service, I felt assured this arrangement would work harmoniously and effectively.
Under the orders of the bureau, conscripts who come in voluntarily are allowed to select any regiment from their State serving in the department. If they bring a good serviceable horse and equipments, they can join a cavalry regiment; otherwise they must serve in the infantry. When they do not come willingly, they are to be sent to a camp of instruction, and then assigned to such regiments as most need them.
I fear your conciliatory measures will not bring the results you desire. My experience in Louisiana proves that the most determined and stringent measures are now necessary. If you resort to force in bringing back the absentees and collecting the conscript in your district, no better force could be employed than that of Quantrill's Missourians. Their not being from the State, will make them more effective. They are bold, fearless men, and, moreover, from all representations, are under very fair discipline. They are composed, I understand, in a measure of the very best class of Missourians. They have suffered every outrage in their person and families at the hands of the Federals, and, being outlawed and their lives forfeited, have waged a war of no quarter whenever they have come in contact with the enemy. Colonel Quantrill, I understand, will perform that duty, provided rations and forage are issued to his men and horses; this you are authorized to order. In the event you have no immediate service for him and his command, direct him to report in person at these headquarters. His command should go into camp at some convenient point, where they could receive rations and forage until Colonel Quantrill's return.
Since writing the above, a second letter from you of 23d October has been received. You can issue the rations and forage required for Quantrill's command, provided they remain under your command. The best disposition you can make of them will be in breaking up and bringing in the bands of deserters in your district.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
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