ordered to your headquarters to inspect that part of your command and report on its condition. Should his services be acceptable to you, I am authorized to say you can retain him. I am exceedingly anxious to gratify you on this point, for I know the deficiency now existing. It is more than probable that such a junction may soon be made as to place Colonel Alexander under your command.
Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS, Demopolis, Ala., March 4, 1864-7 p. m.
Major General S. D. LEE,
Commanding, &c., Gainesville, Ala:
GENERAL: I am informed that a number of boats (transports and trading-boats) have gone up the Yazoo and that the force accompanying them is made up chiefly of negroes, a small number only of white soldiers being with the expedition. It will be seen by the dispatch from Macon (sent you by courier) that Ross is on that river with his brigade. I think if you would send at least one brigade more on the river with Ross you might capture or destroy those boats and a large amount of property and probably many prisoners. Your presence, also, to direct the operations would be of great importance at such a juncture. I hope, therefore, you will press to the front as soon as you can dispose of the necessary matters that have detained you. The report of the operations of your troops makes me hope from the best results. General Forrest's troops will cut them off from above Grenada should they attempt to leave their boats and retreat in the direction of Memphis.
THOS. M JACK,
DEMOPOLIS, March 4, 1864.
General Pillow dispatches that you cannot give him any orders without orders from me. I know not what orders are required for you other than those you already have. Colored Preston has ordered that the companies in North Alabama shall not be taken by me away from that region, but that shall remain for the conscript service. I cannot control them, therefore. General Pillow says eight of them have joined Roddey; inquire into this. I will send you a list of the companies which Major Denis says are within your reach to-morrow.
L . POLK,
Demopolis, Ala., March 4, 1864.
I. Major-General Lee will, as far as practicable, reoccupy the line held by his command prior to the late movements of the enemy,