the requisite force, to institute a government ad interim. I considered this incumbent on me, alike for preserving society and for creating and maintaining an army. Hence, on June 30th, I proclaimed martial law. To make this declaration effective a provost-marshal was appointed in each county, and all the independent companies therein were placed under his control. Over these were appointed provost-marshals of districts, which included several counties. The provost-marshal-general at my headquarters had command over all. It was my intention still further to improve and strengthen the organization by forming independent companies into regiments and brigades, as reserve forces for future contingencies. Martial law, and the regulations enforcing it, put an end to the anarchy by which the loyal population had been so long afflicted. They exercised the spirit of extortion which was torturing soldiers into desertion by starving their wives and children; they restored the credit of Confederate currency and saved the army from starvation. They broke up trading with the enemy, and destroyed or removed out of his reach thousands of bales of cotton that selfish and venal planters were ready to sell for Federal gold; they insured the exclusion of spies, the arrest of traitors, stragglers and deserters, and the enforcement of the conscription. . . . The opposition to martial law never embraced many persons other than tories, speculators and deserters. . . . Before resorting to this alternative, I not only satisfied myself that the circumstances made it necessary, but that it was demanded as a necessity by the loyal population. During all of June, letters and petitions to that effect came to me continually. Prominent citizens urged it at personal interviews. The editors of the two leading exponents of public opinion, the Gazette and True Democrat, strongly advised it. The State military board approved it. Not a single State officer, not a member of Congress, at any time, indicated to me a different opinion. [He then gave precedents for the declaration of martial aw in orders of Beauregard, Van Dorn, Hebert, Pike, Bragg, and by himself in Tennesses sustained by Gen. A. S. Johnston.]In the latter part of July alarming news was coming in from the Indian country. The Federal expedition
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