nothing from him. On the 13th, the telegraphic operator at Yazoo City informed me that Colonel Creasman had abandoned the place, "leaving guns, ammunition, and everything in perfect order," but burning the steamboats; and on the 17th, Commander Brown, C. S. Navy, telegraphed me that the iron-clad De Kalb was sunk by a torpedo in sight of Yazoo City, and that there was heavy firing heard there on the day before, but I have no definite information as to its defense or the circumstances of its evacuation.
I have already established a courier post at the terminus of the telegraph line, and will endeavor to keep in constant communication with your headquarters.
Since my letter of the 21st instant, finding that the reports of the advance of the enemy from the south were unfounded, and hearing that the enemy on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad had been re-enforced by the arrival of Grierson with his cavalry, I ordered General George to return to Panola, and sent the greater part of my command there, with orders to watch the movements of the enemy, and check his advance,, if possible.
As my own health is too feeble to allow me to take the field at present, I will remain here to expedite the forwarding of supplies, and, if possible, to collect conscripts and stragglers, and organize them temporarily to aid in the defense of the country.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES R. CHALMERS.
MONTGOMERY, ALA., July 28, 1863.
General JOSEPH, E. Johnston, Commanding, &c., Headquarters:
SIR: I am induced, by information which I have received, to apprehend a raid in the direction of Selma and Montgomery from the enemy in Northern Alabama. The destination of such a raid would probably be Pensacola, and its object the destruction of everything valuable on the route, especially at the two places above named.
The disposition of General Bragg's cavalry force is such as will be likely to deter the enemy from any raid toward Georgia, and the route which I have indicated seems now to present an inviting and practicable opportunity for a hostile incursion through the heart of the State. The impotent character of our militia system, the late requisition for six months' troops for local defense, and the conscription, leave me no available force with which to meet and resist the apprehended raid. I have no troops whatever, except a few widely separated and undisciplined companies of State volunteers, partially armed with sporting guns, and consisting chiefly of men too old or infirm for regular service. The State has only three small pieces [of artillery], which are at Tuscaloosa. It has given its artillery over to the General Government.
I am, as you perceive, without the means of repelling any formidable raid, and must look for the protection of the State to the army of the Confederate States.
I write this letter calling your attention to the State's destitution of the means of defense, and to request that you will make some arrangement to repel the apprehended raid, if not incompatible with the public interests committed to your charge. I believe there is not a piece of artillery upon the whole line of travel across the State from east to west, through Montgomery and Selma. I venture to suggest that by adding one or more regiments to your force at Pollard, and by stationing a proper force at Demopolis, the troops at those places