Apprehension of any immediate danger seems to have subsided at Mobile, and I cannot discover there war any real cause for alarm. Yet we may, no doubt, expect attack there, as at other sea-ports, during the coming winter, and we should neglect nothing which can be done for a vigorous defense. I have sent a light battery and two regiments of infantry, new, from East Tennessee to report to General Forney. His health, I regret to learn, is quite feeble, impairing his usefulness very much, and causing some apprehension by the community. I have offered him a short respite from duty, and hope he will accept it. But I fear Mobile is in more danger from the rear. The enemy is massing large forces against Pemberton in North Mississippi, and will also assail him by the river. He is not only short in numbers, but bad in condition. Neither Van Dorn, nor Lovell, nor Price will ever discipline volunteers, though they might fight them gallantly.
I hear very bad accounts from our friends (citizens) in North Mississippi. Many declare their preference for Yankee military rule to the terrors of the mob now around them; they plead for discipline, and beg for men who will shoot marauder, if necessary, in the protection.
I have ordered about 1,000 men from here to fill Pemberton's Tennessee regiments, and sent to him 3,000 of our Kentucky muskets from Atlanta. This is about all we can well do, besides the raid upon the enemy's rear before mentioned. The loss of General Villepigue was a severe one to Pemberton; he was by all odds his ablest support, and was fully equal, I think, to the best young men in the service; he fell a victim to his devotion to duty, having had a sick leave since early in August, which he declined to use as long as able to serve.
The state of affairs in Louisiana is deplorable, and yet I see no remedy at present. My own home has been pillaged, my wife driven forth destitute, and my negroes, stock, and all movables carried off. It has been so long anticipated that the reality is a sort of mental relief, when I learn that my wife, at least, is safe.
Most respectfully and truly, yours,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE,
Tullahoma, Tenn., November 24, 1862.
ADJUTANT-GENERAL C. S. ARMY:
SIR: I have the honor to forward a field return of a portion (Polk's and Hardee's corps) of the Army of Tennessee.* Smith's corps is now en route. I am unable to include the cavalry under Generals Forrest, Wheeler, Wharton, and Morgan, these officers now operating with their command in the front; it numbers about 9,000 effectives.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ADJT. AND INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE,
No. 275. Richmond, Va., November 24, 1862.
* * * * * * *
III. General J. E. Johnston, C. S. Army, is hereby assigned to the following geographical command, to wit: Commencing with the Blue
*See abstract from this return (November 20, 1862), on p.412.