the want of the absolute necessaries of life unless they obtained them from the enemy. The country has in some places been laid in utter waste; nothing has been left that might sustain a population. In the neighboring sections, where all the supplies have not been destroyed, there is no surplus with which to supply those who have lost all; and so no alternative for the unfortunate people but to obtain from the enemy those necessaries which they cannot obtain from their friends. Therefore, I would recommend that the restrictions against traffic with enemy be rescinded so far as bacon, flour, salt, and clothing are concerned; the importation of these should be allowed, though there are many objections against the exportation of cotton to pay for them.
I found our citizens much dissatisfied with the conduct of our own forces. The command known as Logan's is spoken of in no mild terms. Illegal and unjust impressments (many of them might be called robberies) have been committed wherever this command went. Even in cases where the law was observed the receipts given were informal and have never been corrected. I have to call your attention to following officers who impressed horses and have never made a report of them to the quartermaster, whereby the owners have failed to receive any payment or other remuneration, viz: Captain W. H. Thomas, Company C, Garland's battalion (cavalry), impressed 3 horses, valued at $900, from Mr. H. N. Davis, of Wilkinson County, of the 3rd of August, 1863, and 1 from Mr. J. F. Dameron, valued at $200, on the same day. Lieutenant M. T. Denson, Company C, Garland's battalion, 1 horse, valued at $500, from Mrs. C. B. Williams, on the 2nd of August, 1863. W. S. Doherty, Wingfield's battalion, 2 horses, value ---, from Mr. T. H. Hook, on the 2nd of August. Lieutenant Knighton, command unknown, 1 horse, value ---, from Mr. C. G. McGee, on the 5th November, 1863. H. M. Cresswell, quartermaster Stockdale's battalion, 2 horses, valued at $600, from Mr. G. T. McGee.
These horses have never been reported to the quartermaster, but, in my opinion, have been appropriated by the officers who impressed them, to the loss of the owners. I would recommend that these officers be made to pay the value of the animals. I had many similar complaints made to me, but could not fasten the accountability on any individual. Great wrong and injustice has been done to the people of Southwest Mississippi through the ignorance and incompetency of officers. The present commander, Colonel Dillon, bids fair to give satisfaction, not only to the people there, but also to the commanding general.
I would recommend that the battalion known as Wingfield's, now under command of Captain Scott, be taken away from its present station and sent either to North Mississippi or Georgia. This is the second time I have been forced to report on its inefficiency, and I do not believe it will ever be effective in its present station. I would also recommend that an officer of the quartermaster's department be sent to Southwest Mississippi and East Louisiana to collect and pay all Government accounts outstanding there.
In conclusion, I will state that the majority of the commissary agents engaged in procuring supplies in the section through which I passed are under the conscript age.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. D. BRADFORD,
Major and Assistant Inspector-General.