my men have of the country from Vicksburg up, I am confident that we could so move and harass and destroy boats on the river that only boats heavily protected by gunboats would be able to make the passage.
I ask also authority to organize all troops that can be obtained, and that I be promised long-range guns for them as soon as organizations are reported.
There are many half-organized regiments, battalions, and companies of men through Northern Mississippi and West Tennessee, but they are without arms and have no way of getting out, and it only requires a little time and a nucleus around which they can form to organize and put them in the field. I believe that in sixty days I can raise from 5,000 to 10,000 men between Vicksburg and Cairo, well mounted, and ready for service as soon as provided with guns and am munitions.
In making this proposition, I desire to state that I do so entirely for the good of the service. I believe that I can accomplish all that I propose to do. I have never asked for position, have taken position and performed the duties assigned me, and have never yet suffered my command to be surprised or defeated. i should leave this department with many regrets, as I am well pleased with the officers in my command and with the division serving under me. I shall especially regret parting with my old brigade. It was organized by me, and a record of its past services and present condition will company favorably with any cavalry command in the service, and nothing but a desire to destroy the enemy's transports and property, and increase the strength of our army, could for a moment induce me voluntarily to part with them. There are thousands of men where I propose to go that I am satisfied will join me, and that rapidly (otherwise they will remain where they are), until all the country bordering on the Mississippi from Cairo down is taken and permanently occupied by our forces.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
N. B. FORREST,
GENERAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE,
Chattanooga, Tenn., August 9, 1863.
The general commanding has been advised that the impression currently prevails among the troops of this army that they have the right to leave their present commands and attach themselves to cavalry organizations. This is a grave error, and should be at once corrected. For the information of the forces, the Twenty-second Article of War is hereby republished, and compliance with its provisions will be rigidly enforced.
No non-commissioned officer or soldier shall enlist himself in any other regiment, troop, or company without a regular discharge from the regiment, troop, or company in which he last served, on the penalty of being reported a deserter, and suffering accordingly. And in case any officer shall knowingly receive and entertain such non-commissioned officer or soldier, or shall not, after his being discovered to be a deserter, immediately confine him and give notice thereof to the corps in which he last served, the said office shall by a court-martial be cashiered.
By command of General Bragg:
GEORGE WM. BRENT,