this point, nearly all the wagons, being provided with special permits from department or district headquarters to pass. What can be accomplished I will certainly attempt,but the demand at present is twenty times greater than the supply.
I have the honor to request, as my command is now reduced simply to the command of the post of San Antonio, that I may be ordered to resume my duties upon the staff, unless my services can be made available in a more extended field of operations than the command of an interior post, upon the base of active operations along the line of the Lower Rio Grande. The commanding general certainly will not retain me here in the seeming capacity of receiving and forwarding merchandise for Colonels Duff's and Baird's commands.
The amount of service formally to be rendered from this post is confined to the commanding officers now stationed in its front and rear, and to neither of whom have I the slightest inclination to report. I cannot advance the interests of the service by remaining here under present circumstances but if the commanding general thinks differently, I beg that he will permit me to report my commercial proceedings alone to him, and be subject alone to his orders. If this is not admissible, I beg at once to be permitted to report to headquarters, to resume again my labors in a more serviceable and legitimate sphere.
I have to request, captain, that you will personally call the attention of the commanding general to the last paragraphs of this communication. If I should accompany Colonel Ford, of course it would be a temporary affair, for as soon our mission was accomplished I should return to headquarters and to go through with this undertaking is with me a question of chance, as my surgeons inform me that my health will not admit of constant exposure. My eye has never healed, and, I am fearful, never will. My general health, however, is excellent, and upon that basis I am willing to try it, provided the arrangement can be made and put through at once. I must say, however, captain, that my old love is strong upon me; the good old days of Yorktown and upon the many fields in Virginia are fresh in my memory, and now that the commanding general is in the saddle, and facing the enemy, I feel that I should be with him, for under his orders I could do five times the service that I could alone or under the direction of others.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. G. DICKINSON,
Major, and Commander of Post.
CAMP MOORE, LA., December 27, 1863.
Colonel E. J. HARVIE, Assistant Inspector-General:
COLONEL: Having visited the different points at which the men assembled by Colonel [F. P.] Powers have been collected, and having informed myself as far as practicable of the immediate condition and wants of the western portion of this district, I desire to recommended that authority be given me at once to muster into companies and organize a regiment and battalion of the men that have been assembled by Colonel Powers with that expectation. These men are conscripts, who are willing to come into the service if allowed to form new organizations, but who would be able to evade all attempts to conscript them by any force that could be spared for that purpose.
In their present unorganized and uncertain condition, they are (in connection with stragglers, deserters, and paroled prisoners) roaming