HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Pulaski, Tennessee, November 23, 1863.
Colonel M. M. BANE,
Commanding Third Brigade:
COLONEL: Frequent and serious complaints by citizens are made to these headquarters in reference to pillaging and outrages committed by the troops of your command, and especially by the officers and men of the Thirty-ninth Iowa Volunteers. Mrs. Wilkinson, residing at Morris' Mills, has to-day made a bitter complaint against some of the men of the above-named regiment, who took her bedclothes, chickens, and stock, and conduct themselves in a shameful manner. Sufficient orders have been issued to stop such disgraceful proceedings, and you will immediately make a strict examination into the matter, and obtain the name of the officer (supposed to be Captain Bennett, Thirty-ninth Iowa Volunteers) in command of these men at the time, and make a full statement of the facts to these headquarters, with as little delay as possible, in order that the guilty parties may be punished, and a stop put to proceedings that are a disgrace to the service.
By order of T. W. Sweeny, brigadier-general commanding:
L. H. EVERTS,
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.
Skipwith's Landing, Miss., November 23, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel WILLIAM T. CLARK,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Seventeenth Army Corps:
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that the expedition to Roebuck Lake returned yesterday without accomplishing the object; the bad state of the roads together with the distance deterred the officer in command from going to the extent of his instructions. It was found that no enemy was in this country this side of the Yazoo River.
Another scout returned the 21st, bringing 60 cattle, so that we can subsist some time so far as beef is concerned. I have given the gunboats some of the captured beef, they having no means of supply.
I find almost all the people eminently loyal and do not upon any scout or march take any property from them. There are, however, in this country some bitter Confederates; among that list is Parson Harris, who married Miss Helen Johnson. Harris was expelled from Nashville and came here and married Miss Johnson. He now resides at Canton, Miss. I have taken the cattle from his place and purpose to take the sweet potatoes or such of them as are not needed by the negroes for their support, and the furniture in the house formerly used as General Ferguson's headquarters. Should I not take it, the negroes will destroy it. Shall I send the furniture to Vicksburg or Memphis?
Something like a week must elapse before I can move, as my horses are very tired. I purpose then, after destroying the ferries, moving up the Yazoo and Clear Creek to Roebuck Lake, thence back to Deer Creek, Rolling Fork, and home.