Correspondence to Edwin M. Stanton from L. Thomas (Letter #5)
April 6, 1863.
(Received 12:20 p.m. 10th.)
Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War, Washington, D.C.:
SIR: I addressed some 7,000 troops to-day, and the policy respecting arming the blacks was most enthusiastically received. Generals Prentiss, Washburn, and Hovey made speeches in high commendation of it. Other officers, also the Honorable Mr. Mitchell, addressed the troops. It has infused new life into the troops and they say now they see that the rebellion will be crushed. I am strongly appealed to by all officers of rank stop all trade below Cairo and let nothing come down but supplies for the troops. It is the boast of the rebel prisoners that the capture of Memphis has been of great service to them, as they now obtain abundant supplies. Here all trade with the rebels is interdicted, but at Memphis the board of trade freely gives passes to individuals to take goods, many of them contraband, beyond the lines. Goods costing millions of money have gone from Memphis beyond the lines into Arkansas. Trains of wagons have entered Little Rock with goods smuggled from that place. I shall leave here to-morrow.