MACON, August 26, 1863.
General THOMAS JORDAN:
SIR: In obedience to your orders, I am now able to make somewhat of a complete return from this post.
At the various Government works here, the arsenal, armory, and laboratory there are formed three companies, under charge of Colonel Cuyler, who has them regularly drilled in the school of the company. Also, a well-drilled company of 134 youths between sixteen and eighteen, who perform the guard duty of the Government works. This company, I have petitioned the Secretary of War, to be increased into a battalion. They would then be able to perform the provost-guard duty of this vicinity, which, to my surprise and regret, swarms with substituted men, skulkers, and occasional deserters.
The firemen of the city constitute another efficient company. The various railroads converging here furnish material for two other companies. These last do not drill, and the reason assigned is the necessity for their constant laboring for the roads.
In obedience to the call of the Governor for 8,000 troops for State defenses, three infantry companies from this county, and a squadron of cavalry from this and the adjacent counties, have been organized, and drill regularly without arms.
Macon is the focus of three important railroads, which, with their branches, ramify every section of the State. No military post having been previously established here, the city has become a complete thoroughfare for all classes and conditions of men. The conscript camp near here, under the efficient control of Lieutenant-Colonel Harris, occasionally is barely able to furnish the calls so repeatedly made upon it for details to arrest, detect, or bring into custody the travelers unprovided with proper papers.
The throngs in the streets, the numerous scapegraces picked up here, and the evident unstable sentiment of the population, in my humble judgment, calls loudly for the establishment of martial law, at least here, if not throughout the Confederacy. Only a few weeks ago the city of Macon came near being fire by a band of ruffians, 6 of whom, fortunately, are now inmates of the penitentiary at Milledgeville. The quartermaster's and commissary departments, under Major Michaeloffsky and Captain Cunninghan, are both efficiently and satisfactory conducted. The hospital arrangements are large, and thoroughly supervised by Dr. J. M. Green.
Before closing this report, I beg leave to solicit your answer to the list of inclosed interrogatories.
Awaiting further orders, I am, general, your obedient servant,
D. WYATT AIKEN,
1. Must I reach your headquarters through General Mercer, or address you directly? In other words, am I within General Mercer's command?
2. Can I require the railroad companies, organized for local defense, to drill, say twice a week or oftener, if necessary?
3. What means have I of reaching the absentees from parade of the companies formed for State defense? Some of the members will not turn out, and the captains have appealed to me for authority to compel them to do so.