War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0403 Chapter XLIV. OPERATIONS ABOUT MOBILE, ALA.

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permitted to transfer to the Navy conscripts preferring that service, instead of sending them up to Notasulga, thence to be brought back to enter the Navy. I suggest the establishment here of a conscript camp with a view to facilitate the transfer of recruits to existing organizations serving in this department.

There is a body of armed traitors in Jones County, Miss., who have become so formidable that I have sent Colonel Maury with a force to break them up. They have been seizing Government stores, have been killing our people, and have actually made prisoners of and paroled officers of the Confederate army. They now threaten to interfere with the repairing of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. They are represented to be more than 500 strong, with artillery.

The latest reliable dates from New Orleans are to the 22nd ultimo. Banks gave a ball at the opera-house on that date. No indication of a serious attack on Mobile was reported.

My reports show that there are in store here more than seven months' breadstuffs for 20,000 men; more than three months' of meat, and a good store of other articles. I have taken up within the fortifications more than 50 acres of gardens, which will very materially increase and improve the subsistence of the troops.

The line now under the enemy's attack has been deprived of its energetic and experienced commander, General Higgins. He is absent from ill health, and I fear cannot again resume his post. I know of no one so desirable to have command there at this time as Colonel Henry Maury. I hope he will be promoted so that I can assign him to it.

I earnestly call your attention to the inability of the line officers serving in the field to meet the necessary expenses of living. The system adopted by the commissary department of conforming the prices of articles sold to officers to the schedule adopted by the State commissioners operates very oppressively in Alabama. The price of flour has just been raised by the commissioners of this State from $45 to $100 per barrel. Pork is $2.40 per pound. I respectfully urge a change in the system of charges.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

DABNEY H. MAURY,

Major-General, Commanding.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War.

MOBILE, March 5, 1864.

Thirteen vessells off the bar; no firing this morning.

D. H. MAURY,

Major-General.

General S. COOPER.

MOBILE, March 27, 1864.

The enemy's fleet, consisting of five schooners and brig, for sometime at Fort Powell, left yesterday, and passed the bar at sundown, sailing eastward. It is supposed they have gone to Pensacola.

DABNEY H. MAURY,

Major-General.

General S. COOPER.