term of service of the "local troops," organized at this place in August last, will expire about the 1st of February of this year. My letters of previous dates explained the necessity of receiving the men for six mounts' service, but the question of their disbanding at this juncture becomes a serious one, and I beg to ask for information on the subject of their reorganization at as early a moment as possible. Our main dependence for defense of this point is upon the local forces, and if these, with the "State guards," disband in February we will be without any force to guard the public interests here. Some of troops are anxious to reorganize and re-enlist, but I cannot act in the matter unless it be advisedly.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. H. WRIGHT,
Colonel, Commanding Troops and Defenses.
Como, Miss., January 2, 1864.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to state that I have succeeded in getting out of West Tennessee with about 3,000 troops, parts of sixteen different commands, with companies composed of 15 to 35 men each. I learn that muster-rolls have been forwarded by Colonel Richardson and others, and it is my duty say to the Department
that none of those rolls of new regiments from West Tennessee are legal. There are no regiments except upon paper, having (In order to fill up companies) illegally conscripted and sworn, into the service men who are not who and never have been with their commands and until forcibly brought out and placed in infantry, never will be in the service. I can see no way of making these troops effective or organizing except by an order from the War Department annulling all authorities previously given to raise troops, accompanied with an order to consolidate into full companies and full regiments all the troops that can be gotten together in West Tennessee and North Mississippi.
By adopting this method I can get six full regiments of cavalry, or about 4,000 men; the balance will have to be conscripted. It is my opinion that as soon as the cavalry can be equipped and organized that I can get out at least 10,000 conscripts and place them in the service at any rate, there are in West Tennessee alone more than that number subject to military duty. There are hundreds of officers in West Tennessee with an authority from various colonels, pretending to be raising companies for various regiments; they have collected together or mustered into the service squads of 15 or 20 men; they have no desire to complete a company and never expect to do so, but are using the authority to recruit as a means of keeping out of the service. For the good of the service I respectfully ask that all authorities given to raise troops in West Tennessee and North Mississippi be revoked, and that I be ordered to consolidate into full companies and full regiments all the troops that I may be able get together also that, if approved and granted, the revocation of authorities and orders to consolidate be forwarded to me as early as practicable, having given those who have been raising