police along the line of the several railroads, I have the honor to submit the following:
1st. On the Mississippi Central Railroad there is no police organization whatever, and I respectfully suggest that a rigid military surveillance is greatly needed upon this route; otherwise stragglers from the service can readily pass south via Grand Junction.
2nd. On the Memphis and Charleston Railroad a police has been established. It is by no means, however, an efficient one, as the officers thereof, in all cases coming under my observation, confined themselves to the simple inquiries, "Who are you?" "Where from?" and "Where going?" without demanding in a single instance written papers. My attention was especially directed to this palpable dereliction of duty on the part of police officials, between Huntsville and Decatur, on the night of the 7th instant, on which occasion seven coaches filled with stragglers and sick soldiers passed between these two points, subject to no other inspection than that above indicated.
3rd. On the Mobile and Ohio Railroad the papers of privates are examined, and if not signed by the proper authorities the holder is put off the train instead of being arrested. All officers are passed over this road upon their simple word.
4th. The military posts along the roads over which I traveled are without guards at the depots, hence no examination of persons getting on or off the trains is made. The interest of the service, as well as the comfort of those traveling, would be greatly promoted by placing a sentinel at the door of each car, subjecting all persons to a proper surveillance before entering; besides, these sentinels should accompany each train to its place of destination, for the purpose of preserving due decorum among the soldiers en route, who frequently. I regret to say, are guilty of the grossest misconduct.
In conclusion I respectfully submit that these delinquencies on the part of the police officers, above referred to, seem to be owing rather to a want of proper instructions as to what constitutes their duties than to a disposition to shirk, them, they being in most cases men of inferior intelligence.
Respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
JOHN M. OTEY, Jr.,
Lieutenant, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
JACKSON, TENN., March 9, 1862.
After a thorough reconnaissance lay out and commence intrenchments. Keep a close observation on the river.
HDQRS. 2nd GRAND DIV., ARMY OF MISS.,
Jackson, Tenn., March 9, 1862.
I. Two regiments of infantry, one battery of light artillery, and three companies of cavalry will be detailed from Gladden's division at Corinth to take post at Bethel Station.
20 R R-VOL X, PT II