diately threatened by the enemy, most of the supplies have been exhausted, except those now in course of collection of tax in kind. Our efforts at present are chiefly directed to localities contiguous to the enemy's lines and to such points as any advance of our cavalry may enable us from time to time to reach. In the north and northwest we have thus far operated successfully, but there is a growing indisposition among the people residing on the borders to sell for our currency. There are large quantities of cattle and hogs still to be collected there, but we require military aid to secure them.
Major Mellon, chief commissary of subsistence, First District, comprising the northern and northwestern counties of the State, reports to me under date 1st instant:
I find it is impossible to buy any more hogs with confederate money, and cannot promise any more except from tax in kind. But if you can procure me an order from the commanidng general to impress hogs in the northern and bottom counties of my district as a military necessity-for the citizens will not sell for our money-I can get 3,000 to 4,000 hogs more from that portion of the State.
In the counties bordering on the Mississippi River, in the vicinity of the Yazoo and Sunflower Rivers (Third District), my officers have been very successful, but the operations of their are attended with constant risks of capture, loss of funds, &c. The occasional aid of a squad of cavalry would be of essential service.
In the southern counties of the State bordering on the lake shore our operations are chiefly confined to collecting cattle and hogs.
Upon Honey Island, in Hancock County, there are upward of 2,000 head of beeves, which are only attainable when the rise of water in the swamps force them to the mainland.
This arduous duty requires vigorous and able-bodied men conversant with the business.
In the lower western counties of Mississippi and counties of East Louisiana our labors have been chiefly directed to securing the sugar and molasses west of the Jackson and New Orleans Railroad. A large quantity has been removed and much more would have been accumulated at safe points for distribution but for the want of transportation. Repeated applications and representations have been made to the quartermaster's department, but without avail. Transportation obtained from planters that department has refused to pay for, and although a large number of wagons remained for weeks idle at Brandon we were refused them, and were compelled to let the favorable weather for transporting the sugar pass unimproved.
Although I am officially notified from Richmond that the requisite orders have been sent to this department, Major Paxton informs me, under date of 26th of December, that " every wagon and mule has been called for by the general commanding.
I beg to refer you to inclosed copy of letter from Subsistence Department, dated Richmond, December 3, 1863. I have also the honor to inclose copy of official notice of the change of commanders in this department.
In submitting these remarks to the general's notice I would most respectfully designate the chief points wherein his aid would be especially valuable to me, viz:
Details of men required in our operations, they will be applied for only when indispensable to the service, and will be returned to their commands as soon as they can be dispensed with.
Occasional aid of cavalry squads, when applied for by my district commissaries, which would be in urgent cases only.