thereby keeping out of service about 2,000 men who should be in service. The authorities have been out long enough, and I urgently recommend for the good of the service that permission be obtained to recall all these authorities to raise companies and battalions on the 10th instant, if the companies are not presented for muster before that date; that the different squads purporting to be organizing be caught, and the men turned over to the conscript officers and their horses be taken to mount dismounted cavalry. These men would be better beyond our lines than disorganized as they are.
The bad political feeling in North Mississippi is caused in a great measure by the non-payment of debts contracted by the army. Disbursing officers have been in the habit of merely giving informal receipts and not paying for supplies, thereby putting the people to endless trouble and finally to go unpaid. This state of affairs has caused the people much discontent, which has diffused itself among the troops, the majority of whom are from that section of the country.
The efficiency of the cavalry can be improved at once by being better armed. In my opinion the present division of the State into geographical districts, being operated in only by cavalry, interferes in a measure with its efficiency, and recommend that they, the districts, be abolished, and that the commanders of cavalry report direct to me.
The line now being protected is a very long one and is a very difficult one to protect successfully. Colonel Logan's force in front of Port Hudson and Natchez is inadequate, and leaves a gap between his command and General Jackson's. There should be at least another brigade to render the Memphis and Charleston Railroad secure against raids from Vicksburg, Natches, and Port Hudson; and I would request that General Armstrong's brigade, originally from Mississippi, and now with General Forrest, be ordered to report to me.
I have not yet inspected Colonel Logan's command but it is a small one at present, of not more than 500 effective men. I would recommend that Owens' battery of horse artillery, under General Ruggles' orders, be assigned to Ferguson's brigade, and not be kept at Okolona or Columbus.
I visited Colonel Richardson's command from West Tennessee, at Pikeville, near Okolona. He has authority from the War Department to raise troops in West Tennessee, and also from the Conscript Bureau at Richmond to conscript men. The colonel had about 600 men with him. He has about two thousand stand of arms, with but few accouterments. He expects more men to arrive from Tennessee in a few days. He musters all the troops into service himself. Copies of his authority to raise troops, &c., are inclosed.
[S. D. LEE.]
SPECIAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF TENNESSEE,
No. 14. Chattanooga, Tenn., September 1, 1863.
I. The division of Major General A. P. Steward is transferred to Buckner's corps.
By command of General Bragg:
GEORGE WM. BRENT,