RICHMOND, November 10, 1863.
General J. E. JOHNSTON:
Can you send arms to the Trans-Mississippi in wagons, and by what route?
HEADQUARTERS, Meridian, Miss., November 10, 1863.
Major General D. H. MAURY,
Commanding Department of the Gulf, Mobile, Ala.:
GENERAL: Your communication of the 4th instant, in relation to the extent of your command as department commander, has been received.
The decision of His Excellency the President was that it should include Mobile and its dependencies, and the limits of your department will, therefore, be Mobile and the country adjacent necessary for its defense. It will not include the posts of Montgomery, &c., mentioned in your communication.
If you will inform me what you deem necessary for the purpose above mentioned, an order will be issued defining the extent of your department in accordance therewith.
By command of General Johnston:
BENJ. S. EWELL,
HEADQUARTERS, Chesterville, Miss., November 10, 1863.
General J. E. JOHNSTON,
Commanding Department Numbers 2:
SIR: My scouts from near the Memphis and Charleston Railroad and men and citizens crossing the road all report that the Yankees are leaving it. Saulsbury, Grand Junction, Pocahontas, Camp Davies, and Middleton I know are evacuated. It is reported that they have been destroying some of their stockades; that the Union people near the railroad are and have been removed; the merchants packed and gone at La Grange and other places. If all this be true, would it not be proper to move to the railroad and destroy all depots, bridges, and trestles, so that if they should attempt to reoccupy it they would be delayed, and possibly defeated? If the railroad is evacuated it opens up West Tennessee, and I ask permission to move into that country, occupy it, and collect my men, returning to Okolona for arms, ammunition, equipments, &c. I could soon put into the field 3,000 West Tennessee, who, if well armed, would do good service. If you will allow me to move into West Tennessee, I will first destroy the railroad, and take the country, extending our lines north to Kentucky. The enemy, it is said, is building a railroad from Hamburg, on the Tennessee River, to Corinth, supplying that garrison by that river. It is probable that the railroad from Corinth to Germantown will be evacuated. There