That is now the case, and the deserters from Taylor's and Magruder's commands should be immediately sent to their regiments, where in one case they are daily skirmishing with superior numbers, and in the other threatened with invasion. You may retain the deserters from the commands east of the Mississippi in temporary organizations till ordered to their regiments from these headquarters.
You will, with myself, general, see the bad policy of retaining these men in any organization near their homes. Their disaffection is beyond doubt, and I believe the information that they intend joining the Federals in spring to be correct. They should be put in service with their regiments and as far from their homes as possible.
Should it be necessary to use force, you are authorized to call upon Colonel Burleson, who will be instructed to co-operate with you under your orders.
Quantrill could be efficiently employed in this duty, but I think those misguided men will go peaceable to their commands.
E. KIRBY SMITH,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
Mobile, Ala., November 21, 1863.
Colonel B. S. EWELL,
Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. Western Dept. Meridian, Miss.:
COLONEL: I have ordered Quarles' brigade to go to General Bragg. i may send him the Seventeenth and Twenty-ninth Alabama, fine, large regiments, so soon as I can place them by heavy artillerists, for which I have already written to General Bragg and to you.
On yesterday I asked General Bragg to send me a Tennessee battalion (Colonel Jackson's) in exchange for a fine infantry battalion, now the garrison of Fort Gaines.
As soon as the First Alabama Regiment arrives here, or the battalion above mentioned, I will send a regiment to General Bragg. I applied to you yesterday for the First Alabama.
It will not do for me to remove the necessary garrisons of my forts and heavy batteries until they can be replaced.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
DABNEY H. MAURY,
CHARLESTON, S. C.,
November 21, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel VON SHELIHA,
COLONEL: In regard to the defenses of Mobile, I will call your attention to one or two important points, as follows:
1. In preparing batteries, experience has shown us here that it is all-important to protect yourself by heavy traverses on the right and left of each gun, if possible,and, if at all exposed to reverse fires, rear traverses should be erected. I consider the sunken chambers the best possible arrangement for mounting guns where the nature of the soil and locality will admit of it, the thorough drainage being provided for. Your gun platform, chassis, carriage, and gun are thus protected in