W. W. Hall, who was at one time a member of the Legislature, informed me that in the western portion of Lauderdale County, where he was just from when I saw him, there was being formed a company of men who intend joining the Federal army as soon as possible. This organization was headed by a Dr. Longmire, who lives in Garlandville, Miss. The company met while Mr. Hall was in the neighborhood at the house of man named Joe Mayberry. The enemy afraid they went stripped the people of provisions, and I am afraid that some of them will suffer.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. H. POLK,
First Lieutenant and Actg. Asst. Insp. General
MONTGOMERY, March 3, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel T. M. JACK,
Nothing from Pensacola but a dispatch from Colonel Murphey, commanding at Greeneville, that the enemy are advancing toward Pollar. If anything comes in will keep you informed.
J. M. WITHERS,
HEADQUARTERS, Demopolis, Ala., March 3, 1864.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General:
The weakness and inefficiency exhibited by the agents of the Bureau of Conscription and absentee volunteers in this department are producing the most serious evils. Conscripts and deserters have banded several hundred; have killed the officer in charge of the work of conscription and dispersed and captured his supporting force. They are increasing in numbers and boldness; have destroyed the houses of many loyal men by fire, plundered others, and have within a few days largely to Government and other stores. The arrest of these men Bureau of Conscription. The administration demanded for such work suppression of such excesses has been and is interested to the work is far more vigorous than can be exercised by a bureau having its seat at Richmond.
The forces I have in the field will have to be turned aside to put down this combination, which is fast attaining formidable proportions, greatly to my inconvenience and the interference with permanent duties elsewhere. I am satisfied that the duty of collecting placed directly in the hands of the general commanding the department. One set of troops then could do the work of conscription, arrest deserters and paroled prisoners, and maintain a proper military police, and they would be where they ought to be, under the direct order of the commander of the department. As it is, I have to detail a force for the conscription officers and another to arrest deserters,