War of the Rebellion: Serial 056 Page 0876 KY.,SW.VA.,Tennessee,MISS.,N.ALA., AND N.GA. Chapter XLIII.

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The principal difficulty has been to secure a competent chief. Such a one I had found in Major Denis, who is eminently qualified and who had been ordered to report for that duty. I had intended also to assign him - General Pillow being relieved - to the charge of recovering absentee volunteers and gathering paroled prisoners and conscripts, these duties falling naturally under the same general department.

I regret to hear that Major Denis has been ordered to report to the chief of the Conscript Bureau at Richmond.

The experience of this department shows that the officers in charge of collecting absentee volunteers and conscripts within it should report directly to department headquarters, which must know its wants better than they can be known at Richmond and is on the spot to furnish military support when needed and when most convenient. I am anxious to collect from all sources at an early day as large a force as possible for field operations, and had matured my plans for that purpose. This order in regard to Major Denis breaks them up. May I, therefore, ask respectfully that, so far as my department is concerned, the work of conscription be left in the hands of department headquarters and that Major Denis be ordered to report to me? May I ask also that he be made lieutenant-colonel?

L. POLK,

Lieutenant-General, Commanding.

ENTERPRISE, December 28, 1863.

General J. E. JOHNSTON,

Dalton, Ga.:

I should like to have Roddey co-operate with Chalmers and Ferguson in the destruction of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad.

Please answer. If you have order for him, they may be most expeditiously sent through Okolona.

L. POLK,

Lieutenant-General, Commanding.

ENTERPRISE, December 28, 1863.

General S. D. LEE,

Grenada:

Your dispatch received. Two thousand stand of arms, with accouterments and ammunition for mounted infantry, have been placed at Demopolis for the use of General Forrest. Inform him of it.

L. POLK,

Lieutenant-General.

HEADQUARTERS, Holly Springs, December 28, 1863.

Brigadier-General CHALMERS:

GENERAL: From one of your couriers I learn you are moving on Collierville, expecting to join me there.

The inclosed note,* written before I learned of your courier your

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*Probably Forrest to Chalmers, December 28, 1863, p.858.

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