[Footnote 497: Van Dorn to President Davis, June 9, 1862, Official Records, vol. xiii, 831-832.]
[Footnote 498: Price was preferred to H.M. Rector; because Van Dorn felt that Rector’s influence with the people of Arkansas had greatly declined. The truth was, Governor Rector had become incensed at the disregard shown for Arkansas by Confederate commanders. In a recent proclamation, he had announced that the state would henceforth look out for herself.]
could discuss matters personally with the president and remove the prejudice believed to be existing in his mind against Price; but the War Department had quite other plans developed, a rumor of which soon reached the ears of Van Dorn. It was then he telegraphed, begging Davis to make no appointment for the present to the command of the Trans-Mississippi District and informing him that Hindman had been sent there temporarily. The request came to Richmond too late. An appointment had already been resolved upon and made. The man chosen was John Bankhead Magruder, a major-general in the Army of Northern Virginia. However, as he was not yet ready to take up his new duties, Hindman was suffered to assume the command in the West; but Magruder’s rights held over. They were held in abeyance, so to speak, temporarily waived.
The controversy between Pike and Hindman would seem to have impelled Secretary Randolph to wish to terminate early Magruder’s delay; but Magruder was loath to depart. His lack of enthusiasm ought to have been enough to convince those sending him that he
[Footnote 499: The orders for Hindman to repair west, issuing from Beauregard’s headquarters, were explicit, not upon the point of the temporary character of his appointment, but upon that of its having been made “at the earnest solicitation of the people of Arkansas.” [Official Records, vol. x, part ii, 547].]
[Footnote 500: Price, nothing daunted, continued to seek the position and submitted plans for operations in the West. His importunities finally forced the inquiry from Davis as to whether Magruder’s appointment had ever been rescinded and whether, since he seemed in no hurry to avail himself of it, he really wanted the place. Randolph reported that Magruder had no objection to the service to which he had been ordered but desired to remain near Richmond until the expected battle in the neighborhood should have occurred. Randolph then suggested that Price be tendered the position of second in command [Randolph to Davis, June 23, 1862, Official Records, vol. xiii, 837], an arrangement that met with Magruder’s hearty approval [Magruder to R.E. Lee, June 26, 1862, Ibid., 845].]
was hardly the man for the place. His acquaintance with Trans-Mississippi conditions was very superficial, yet even he found out that they were of a nature to admonish those concerned of their urgency, especially in the matter of lack of arms. By the fourteenth of July his indecision was apparently overcome. At any rate, on that day Randolph wrote Pike that Magruder, the real commander of the Trans-Mississippi District, would soon arrive at Little Rock and that the offences of which Pike had had reason to complain would not be repeated.