Near Hickory Flats, 20 miles from this place, live several wealthy and unscrupulous rebels. One of them, by name of Martin, is said to be employed much of the time in paroling deserters from the One hundred and ninth Regiment Illinois Volunteers; another, by name of Marmon, is said to be engaged in same business; one by name of Johnson, a New York man, has a large stock of cattle and 200 sheep, and a Mr. Potts has a very large property. I mention their last names to apprise you of the whereabouts of stock to forage on in case of necessity.
I desire to report that owing to inability to find the ordnance officer I was compelled to make this expedition with a very scanty supply of ammunition.
After a long search and delay of an hour I found the ammunition train, but the persons present would not issue without a bundle of red tape attached, and none of them could tell where the officer was quartered, only that he was down-town. Thus the lives and safety of my men were imperiled for the care and convenience of officers who prefer quartering in houses to remaining in the field.
All of which is respectfully submitted by your obedient servant,
JOHN J. MUDD,
Major, Commanding Second Illinois Cavalry.
Orders in relation to the capture of Holly Springs and dismissing Colonel Murphy from the service of the United States.
SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS,
HDQRS. THIRTEENTH A. C.,
DEPT. OF THE TENNESSEE,
Holly Springs, Miss., December 23, 1862.
It is with pain and mortification that the general commanding reflects upon the disgraceful surrender of this place, with all the valuable stores it contained, on the 20th instant, and that without any resistance except by a few men, who form an honorable exception, and this too after warning had been given of the advance of the enemy northward the evening previous. With all the cotton, public stores, and substantial buildings about the depot it would have been perfectly practicable to have made in a few hours defenses sufficient to resist with a small garrison al the cavalry force brought against them until the re-enforcements which the commanding officer was notified were marching to his relief could have reached him. The conduct of officers and men in accepting paroles under the circumstances is highly reprehensible and, to say the least, thoughtless.
By the terms of the Dix-Hill carted each party is bound to take care of their prisoners and send them to Vicksburg, Miss., or a point on James River, Virginia, for exchange-parole, unless some other point is mutually agreed upon by the general commanding the opposing armies. By a refusal to be paroled the enemy, from his inability to take care of the prisoners, would have been compelled either to have released them unconditionally or to have abandoned all further aggressive movements for the time being, which would have made their recapture and the discomfiture of the enemy almost certain.
It is gratifying to notice in contrast with this the conduct of a portion of the command; conspicuous among whom was the Second Illinois