discharged from such forced service, the question of pay or other compensation to be settled by proper authorities hereafter. They will be discharged when to further military necessity appears for their enforced service.*
IV. The senior surgeons and inspectors present will constitute a board of inspection on the physical capacity of recruits.
By order of Maj. Gen. S. A. Hurlbut:
THOMAS H. HARRIS,
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Vicksburg, Miss., November 15, 1863.
Brig. General JOHN A. RAWLINS,
Chief of Staff, Military Division of the Mississippi:
DEAR GENERAL: Captain Gile has just returned, bringing your letter of the 2nd instant,+ and I need not say to you that it gave me the greatest satisfaction. Shortly after your departure, I sent to General Crocker, ant Natchez, to see Lieutenant Hains, in charge of the construction of fortifications at that place, and arrange the permanent garrison assigning the two colored regiments to a part of it and organize the balance of his command into a movable force to operate as circumstances may require.
I had not seen a plan of the new works, and my surprise was great when I found that they would require a garrison of over 7,000 men. I immediately directed General Crocker to inform Lieutenant Hains that this was a much larger garrison that could be assigned to that post, and to finish up the work to accommodate about 2,500 men (including the colored troops).
As soon as the order was received directing General Tuttle's division to be sent to Sherman, I made arrangements to have Crocker's division moved up here, and one brigade has already arrived. I propose to move the whole division up here, which will give me Logan's and Crocker's divisions to operate with, leaving McArthur's division and the colored troops to garrison this place and Natchez. I would like very much to have two regiments sent if possible, as it would let me out of a difficulty in making these dispositions.
I have it upon good authority that the rebels are repairing the railroad north from Brandon, and getting out timber to construct a temporary bridge across Pearl River at Jackson, and repairing the road from Canton to Jackson. I shall keep a close watch upon them, and try and break up their arrangements if they are really in earnest about carrying them out.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. B. McPHERSON,
P. S.-Tuttle's division left here a week ago to-day.
PULASKI, November 15, 1863.
I have just returned from a through examination of the country and railroad from Columbia to Decatur. North of Columbia there
*See Hurlbut to Bowers, December 28,p.-.
11 R R-VOL XXXI, PT III