in this district. At that time the district was composed of the two northern tiers of counties, extending entirely across the State, but in a few weeks after I assumed command it was divided and the command which General Ferguson now has was taken from me. With the reduced force thus left me I have been unable to meet the enemy, and for the last six months have here endured the mortification of being compelled to retire before him on almost every advance, and I should certainly regard it as a great hardship if I should be removed from the district just when the force in it is about to be so increased as to enable us to act on the offensive.
My removal at this time and under such circumstances could be regarded only as a direct censure upon my past conduct. While I have no desire to prevent any other officer from being placed in such a position as his rank and merit may entitle him to hold, I feel that it is due to myself to claim as my military right my proper rank in the Cavalry Corps under your command, and as I am the senior brigadier in the corps (or the second in rank if General Ruggles belongs to it), I would respectfully suggest that if any divisions are to be formed I am entitled to command one of them. If I am sent below with a single brigade to hold a country where General Jackson has had a division, and he sent with a division where I have had only a brigade, and that an inferior one, I must regard it as indicating at least that General Jackson is regarded by our superiors as a better officer than myself.
I have served cheerfully under those of my juniors who have been promoted over me, and shall continue to do so, because this implies no fault in me, but only superior merit in them; but if officers who are my juniors in the same corps are placed over divisions while I am continued in the command of a single brigade, a decent self-respect forbids that I should consent to remain longer in it.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant.
J. R. CHALMERS,
HEADQUARTERS FIFTH MILITARY DISTRICT,
DEPARTMENT OF MISSISSIPPI AND EAST LOUISIANA,
Grenada, August 24, 1863.
Major General S. D. LEE,
GENERAL: In compliance with your request I have the honor to submit the following report showing the disposition of the forces under my command at the time of the recent raid by the enemy:
Having been directed by General Johnston to assist in repairing the railroad so as to remove the rolling-stock east of Jackson, I left this place on the 11th instant for Canton and Morton for the purpose of hastening the work and to consult with General Johnston on other matter of importance to this command. At this time my reports showed an aggregate of more than 1,700 effective men, who were distributed: Two companies Chalmers' battalion on picket at Holly Springs, 110 men; one company Chalmers' battalion on picket at Coldwater, 50 men; two companies Chalmers' battalion on picket at Wyatt, 100 men; Second Regiment Mississippi State