The Civil War in Texas: An Exhibit from the Texas State Library and Archives

Before the War | 1860: Big Trouble | Secession! | 1861: Opening Act | Dissent

1862: Fiery Trial | 1863: The Tide Turns | 1864: No Way Out | End of the Ordeal | Further Reading

William J. Hutchins to Pendleton Murrah, May 14, 1864

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W.J. Hutchins to Governor Murrah, May 1864

ness to me in my further operations. I desire it also
with a view of satisfying myself in regard to the quantity
of cotton still remaining, undisposed of and determine- [sic]
ing the propriety of continuing in my present position
and efforts to be of service to the Military. Unless
better prospects are apparent[,] I shall not prosecute my
present unrequited labors. If I had followed my own
Judgement [sic] I should some time ago have notified Genls Smith
& Magruder to look to other means of providing cotton and
Supplies for the Army than this cotton office.

Last Summer or early in this fall (the order not being
before me) [t]he cotton of Texas was declared by Genl Smith
a Military necessity and general instructions were given
for its impressments. Genl Magruder appointed a Quarter
Master for this purpose, and issued an order for the impress-
ment without restrictions as to the amount or proportion.

The understanding outside was, that it was deemed
necessary to take all. Merchants in Houston went to
Genl Magruder and protested against this policy. He
[s]uspended it and after much discussion of a plan &
long delay in procuring appointees [t]he present cotton
office was set on foot, in order as [sic] was [sic] designed & supposed
to [s]atisfy the Military Necessities with the least injury
and most benefit to the planters of the State.

The Necessities of the State which you say are now so nearly
satisfied by the cotton it controls, and which were not then
known or anticipated, and the means taken to supply them
have been such that the Military have gone in a large
part unsupplied and various departments are clam-
ouring for Necessaries which cannot be supplied and

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William J. Hutchins to Pendleton Murrah, May 14, 1864. Records of Governor Pendleton Murrah, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Page last modified: March 3, 2016