that have been so loosely handled heretofore that they straggle in every direction for 20 miles from camp. If I had them in a permanent camp, and had time to discipline and drill them, I could make them more effective; but the constant raids of the enemy have not given me five days' rest at any one time since I have been here. If I had two or more good infantry regiments, I could impress horses enough to mount them, and this would be of infinite service to the command to assist in enforcing discipline as well as resisting the enemy. If you could give me one or more of the regiments of my old Mississippi brigade, they would be preferable to me on account of their familiarity with the country. The NINTH, Tenth, Twenty-NINTH, or Forty-first Mississippi Regiments, and Major [W. C.] Richards' battalion of sharpshooters have many men in them from this district. Many of them, too, are able and willing to bring horses, and the colonel of the Twenty-NINTH having been a cavalry officer, would be especially serviceable. I do not know what the exigencies of the service are elsewhere, but it is evident that the main effort of the enemy now is to starve us, and in their late raids here they have stolen every horse and mule they could catch, and if this country is not protected the greater portion of the subsistence in Mississippi will be destroyed. I will use my best endeavors to discipline the command, but to give you some idea of how hard I have been pressed for time, I will state I had to hold some of my elections for organization while halting on the march.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES R. CHALMERS.
P. S. -I think the service would be materially benefitted if the regiment commanded by Colonel Green L. Blythe be converted into Confederate troops, and would be gratified if the general would make the necessary order upon the subject. The service would not suffer by the discharge of the few members of it over forty-five years of age.
PANOLA, MISS, May 19, 1863.
General JOSEPH E. Johnston:
Scout report enemy impressing horses to mount 6,000 men, to destroy crops in Northern Mississippi.
JAMES R. CHALMERS.
HDQRS. FIFTH MIL. DIST., DEPT. MISS. AND E. La., Senatobia, May 19, 1863.
Colonel [W. F.] SLEMONS,
Commanding Cavalry Brigade:
COLONEL: I have just received a note from General Chalmers, at Panola, in which he says that Henderson's scouts report that-
Three columns of Yankees will start from White's Station, Germantown, and Collierville, on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, and that 500 horses were sent to Collierville on yesterday [17th].
He directs that Colonel McCulloch shall assume command during his absence.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. A. GOODMAN,