seized or taken from hostile possession by the military or naval forces was also to be turned over to the special agents to be sold. All property not transported in accordance with the Treasury regulations was forfeitable. All expenses incurred in relation to the property were charged upon it. The views of General Grant on the operation of this system of measures, as tending to retard the success of subjugation, which was the object of the war, were presented to the Secretary of the United States Treasury in a letter dated at Vicksburg on July 21, 1863. He writes:
My experience in West Tennessee has convinced me that any trade whatever with the rebellious States is weakening to us at least thirty-three per cent, of our force. No matter what restrictions are thrown around trade, if any whatever is allowed, it will be made the means of supplying to the enemy what they want. Restrictions, if lived up to, make trade unprofitable, and hence none but dishonest men go into it. I will venture to say that no honest man has made money in West Tennessee in the last year, while many fortunes have been made there during the time. The people in the Mississippi Valley are now nearly subjugated. Keep trade out for a few months, and I doubt not but that the work of subjugation will be so complete that trade can be opened freely with the States of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.On September 11, 1863, revised regulations were issued by the Secretary which divided the country into thirteen districts, from Wheeling, West Virginia, to Natchez on the Mississippi, and a complete system of trade and transportation was organized. In December, 1864, new regulations were issued which authorized the purchase of our products at certain points from any person with bonds furnished by the Treasury. The products were sold, transportation was allowed, and the proceeds were made to constitute a fund for further purchases. A vigorous traffic sprang up under these regulations, which were suspended by an order of General Grant issued on March 10, 1865, and revoked on April 11th by himself. On April 29, 1865, all restrictions upon internal, domestic, and coastwise commercial intercourse with all the country east of the Mississippi River were discontinued.