Before this incident was closed, the administration of General Hindman
as chief, practically, of the Trans-Mississippi region, though subject nominally to the commander of Department No. 2, came to an end, and the Trans-Mississippi department was created, with a new commander.
Gen. J. B. Magruder
had been first selected for this duty, while General Hindman
was yet engaged in his White river
General Van Dorn
, in his letter of June 9th to President Davis
, previously quoted from, also wrote:
I learned a day or two since, that General Magruder had been ordered to the command of the Trans-Mississippi district, and immediately telegraphed you not to send any one at present, as it would have a bad effect.
General Price goes to-morrow to see you, and will explain all on the subject.
I wish here to suggest to you, General, that the love of the people of Missouri is strong for General Price, and his prestige as a commander there so great, that wisdom would seem to dictate that he be put at the head of affairs in the West.
I see the alluring bait to my ambition—the fall of St. Louis, the reclamation of a rich segment of our beloved South from the grip of the enemy, and the glory of that might be mine.
But I shut all this out from me, because I think it is to the best interest of the country to do so. I willingly drop whatever glory there may be in it on the brow of General Price, than whom there is no one more worthy to wear it, and than by whom I should rather see it worn.
learned, on reaching Richmond
, that General Magruder
had been appointed to the command, and he was informed that as soon as his troops could be spared from Mississippi
, he would be returned west as subordinate to Magruder
On July 16th, however, to secure ‘prompt action,’ as President Davis
said, Maj.-Gen. Theophilus H. Holmes
was assigned to command of the Trans-Mississippi department. General Hindman
, on August 5th, yet unadvised of the change, wrote to Adjutant-General Cooper
I am rejoiced to hear that a separate department has