holds his command at Corinth, has been ordered to join Lieutenant-Colonel Moreland, and Colonel Johnson with detachment from his regiment, all of whom are on their way to West Tennessee to bring out the cattle, hogs, bacon, &c., bought by my commissary in that district.
I have written ordering Colonel Patterson to move with his command by the nearest practicable route to Gadsden, and the courier has gone with the orders. I will move others as fast as possible. Shall order Colonel Johnson back with his entire command as soon as possible, to leave the store, if deemed safe, with small detachment to follow him up, and will order Colonel Hannon, who is now doing picket duty above Decatur, to move as soon as I can relieve him with others. General, I will get to the position assigned me as early as practicable under the circumstances. I hope you will remember your orders to me to co-operate with and report to the commanders west of me, which order was received by me on the 13th instant, and it was upon those orders that I withdrew a portion of my force from this valley, sending them westward. I can get a regiment to the place in a few days, but cannot get the entire order obeyed probably short of twenty days.
P. D. RODDEY,
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,
ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Richmond, Va., January 30, 1864.
Lieutenant General L. POLK, Commanding, &c.:
GENERAL: In response to yours of the 9th instant, asking to be vested with authority to authorize the organization of troops within the enemy's lines bordering on your department, you are respectfully informed that your recommendations for such authorities will receive favorable attention. Such authorities, however, must be issued from the War Department, and must be strictly confined to localities within the enemy's lines, and where the conscript law cannot be enforced by reason of his control. Deserters and stragglers, if reclaimed, cannot be formed into new organizations; they should be returned to their commands.
In connection with this subject I would say that the experience of the department is not favorable to the good to be expected from such permits, and care should be taken that none but competent persons be selected for such service.
I am, general, your obedient servant,
Adjutant and Inspector-General.
DALTON, January 30, 1864.
Lieutenant-General POLK, Meridian, Miss.:
Scott's regiment is of average numbers. So large a portion of the cavalry of this army is absent that the general cannot comply with your request.
W. W. MACKALL,
Chief of Staff.