The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union And Confederate Armies. Series 1, Volume 13. Page: 31
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r. XXV.] GENERAL REPORTS, ETC. 31
important acts with promptness. Any hesitation or serious error would
inevitably result in the capture of Little Rock and the loss of the re-
mainder of Arkansas to the Confederacy. That would involve the
loss also of the Indian country and destroy all hope of recovering
Missouri, besides exposing Texas and Louisiana to the greatest mis-
fortunes. Such calamities could not be averted without an army. I
had no army, and had not been authorized to raise one, the instructions
of General Beauregard limiting me to the enforcement of the conscript
act, which prohibited new regiments. To wait until the necessary
authority could be applied for and received from Richmond, even if the
Government should not deem itself precluded by the conscript act from
granting such authority, would be nothing else than the surrender to
the enemy of the country from which the troops must be obtained. I
therefore resolved to accept the responsibility, which the situation im-
posed, of raising and organizing a force without authority of law, and
that I would do all acts necessary to make that determination effective.
In coming to this conclusion I considered that the main object of all
law is the public safety, and that the evident necessity of departing
from the letter of the law in order to accomplish its object would more
than justify me in the eyes of my superiors and of intelligent patriots
The first difficulty to be met in the execution of this purpose was
the attempt of the Governor of Arkansas to raise a State force upon
the basis of his formal pledge not to transfer it to the Confederate serv
ice. Under the most favorable circumstances two different military
organizations would antagonize, rather than help, each other. I had
witnessed this result in Arkansas at the commencement of the war.
After much trouble and embarrassment General Hardee had finally
obtained the consent of the State authorities to transfer their troops;
but this agreement was trammeled- with the condition that each and
every soldier should decide the question for himself. Taking advan-
tage of this, the adjutant- general of the State (E. Burgevin) and two of
the general officers (James Yulee and N. B. Burrow) came near defeat-
ing the whole plan. In Northwestern Arkansas out of over 3,000 sol-
diers only 18 consented to be transferred. In Northeastern Arkansas
nearly half of the first regiment approached on the subject decided to
go home. To prevent further losses, General Hardee devolved on me
the duty of effecting the transfer of the remaining four regiments. It
was done by hurrying to their camps and mustering them into the
Confederate service before the Adjutant-General of the State could reach
Warned by this experience, and remembering the Governor's late
threat of secession, I represented to him that I should feel constrained
to apply the provisions of the conscript act to his troops and to im-
press whatever stores he might accumulate. He abandoned the at-
tempt, and transferred to the Confederacy the few troops already raised,
together with all military property of the State.
I now directed the enrollment and organization into companies and
regiments of all men in Arkansas subject to conscription. Absentees
from commands east of the Mississippi were to be included, but with a
memorandum stating their proper companies and regiments. Substi-
tution was prohibited, because I regarded it as certain to increase the
difficulties, already too great, that were in my way.
To encourage volunteering, it was announced that they who should
form companies by June 20 would be permitted to elect their com-
pany officers, but that in all other cases the company officers, and in all
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United States. War Department. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union And Confederate Armies. Series 1, Volume 13., book, 1885; Washington D.C.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth154621/m1/39/?q=Hindman: accessed November 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.