has, I know, crossed the Tennessee River with all his forces at Eastport, Miss.; also they have evacuated the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, all east of Corinth, Miss., and I am satisfied that there is not more than 2,500 negroes and about 500 white men now at Corinth, Miss.
Captain, and Aide-de-Camp, of General Gholson's Staff.
P. S.-Colonel, I have been in Tishomingo for the last ten days, and I have had a good opportunity of learning something of movements of the enemy. I was within 1 mile of Burnsville, Miss.
Captain, and Aide-de-Camp, General Gholson's Staff.
MERIDIAN, November 13, 1863.
General Chalmers reports you are reduced by desertions to about 240 men. Is this so?
By command of General Johnston:
BENJ. S. EWELL,
BRANDON, MISS., November 13, 1863.
Some questions and facts exist here of which it were well you were informed, as they will have an important bearing on the future of that portion of the Confederacy lying between the Yazoo and Mississippi Rivers (or Yazoo Island), and a strip below that 20 miles wide, on the Mississippi River, from Vicksburg to Lake Maurepas.
The citizens of this section of country, many of them, at and previous to the fall of Vicksburg, moved back with their negroes; others remained quietly on their plantations. Those that moved back having been used to every comfort at home, they have been so disgusted with what they call the extortion and inhospitality, and adding illhealth and dissatisfaction of negroes, that many have moved their negroes back with their families and others are preparing to do so, and preparations are being made to raise cotton and open a trade with the enemy along the river.
In fact, from 20 miles below the mouth of Arkansas River to Memphis this state of affairs already exists. The enemy notifying the people that if they will remain quiet and keep off the guerrillas they will not be disturbed, but that they will burn their houses if attacked by guerrillas, and that they will give them written protection for their persons and property as against their own men, and will exchange goods for cotton on the river-bank. To add to this disposition on the part of our people, many of them are deserters and conscripts and intend in every way to avoid the service, and by indulging their negroes and letting them do as they please, they hope that they will dodge them from Yankee conscription and save some of them. And, in fact, many of