battle; and after unceasing efforts, commencing as early as the middle of January, I have not been able to obtain ordnance stores and ammunition sufficient to make a respectable campaign in the field with even the few troops I had.
3. I at last succeeded, through the courtesy of General Buckner, commanding the Department of the Gulf, in borrowing the SECOND Alabama Cavalry, in an unarmed and demoralized state, about the 1st of May.
4. Subsequently General Buckner very kindly loaned me Major Boyles' cavalry battalion about the 15th of May; also a battery of four Williams' guns, which, in addition to Lieutenant Colonel C. R. Bartean's seven companies of SECOND Tennessee Cavalry, and Major Hewlett's Alabama Cavalry Battalion, enabled me to begin operations in the field.
5. The line of defense along this border approximates 100 miles in extent, and until about the middle of May the streams and swamps were almost impassable, especially for artillery. To this fact we were indebted for comparative exemption from raids of the enemy up to that time.
6. My force is too small to enable me to occupy permanently any line of defense in advance of Pontotoc, Verona, Fulton, and Smithville, although my detachment scouts much higher up. The absence of forage along the whole line, and the short perpendicular lines on which the enemy can move, have satisfied me fully of its impracticability.
7. The departure for Vicksburg of Brigadier-General Harris' brigade of Mississippi State troops, on which I had expended much care and labor, my sole dependence as infantry force, was a serious cause of embarrassment, depriving me of the means of guarding localities.
8. The interests involved in the protection of this district have been and still are so great, that my means are quite inadequate, comprising the great grain-growing region, the several important towns, and the main railroad communications by which supplies are forwarded to the armies.
9. I have endeavored to fit out Captain Thrall's company with a light battery of fix guns for field service, and hope soon to get it to Okolona in a serviceable condition.
10. I have endeavored to stimulate organizations for local defense, under the Confederate law of October 13, 1862, and have made some progress. The conflicting action of the State authorities touching these organizations, claiming ostensibly that they are under the command of the Governor whenever the muster-rolls are sent to him, the unsettled militia organizations, in connection with the failure of local companies to organize in accordance with the law above referred to, all their muster-rolls, with but one exception, impressing some arbitrary condition relative to disbanding by vote, instead of by authority of military commanders accepting them, deprive me of an efficient military force for local defense, which is greatly needed.
11. Colonel [J. F.] Smith's Mississippi State Cavalry Regiment was turner over to Confederate service about the 4th instant, and before the Confederate inspector could reach his camp, the regiment had virtually disbanded, leaving the locality they were sent to protect unguarded. The following day the enemy burned New Albany, near which it had been stationed.
I respectfully recommend that the regiment (Colonel Smith's) be disbanded, and that the conscripts be immediately put into Confederate service. The regiment has, in the meantime, been directed to concentrate on the 28th instant, for inspection, at Pontotoc, preparatory to