HDQRS. FIRST DIV., FORREST'S CAVALRY DEPARTMENT,
Mayhew Station, March 9, 1864.
Commanding Second Brigade:
COLONEL: The brigadier-general commanding directs that your command be supplies with 40 rounds of ammunition to each effective man and four days' rations, with as little delay as possible, and that it be held in readiness to move at a moment's notice as soon as these supplies are obtained.
When a movement s made no wagons will be taken except those belonging to brigade and regimental headquarters and a sufficient number to transport the cooking utensils of the command. The ordnance wagons will be sent to Columbus to be put in complete repair, an the others will be parked near this place in charge of a proper officer. The Eighteenth Mississippi Battalion will be sent forward to-morrow to Panola to collect forage and built a pontoon bridge across the Tallahatchie. The Second Arkansas Regiment will be detached from the brigade, and will report at these headquarters as provost guard. The dismounted men and those with disabled horses will be encamped near this place but a distance from the wagon train, under the charge of an efficient officer, who will enforce a strict discipline among them.
The order in regard to roll-calls and drills will be strictly carried out, and a portion of the cooking utensils will be left with these men.
I am, colonel, your obedient servant,
W. A. GOODMAN,
MOBILE, ALA., March 9, 1864.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: I have devoted the past sixteen days to the inspection, supervision, and direction of the defenses of this city. I have also prepared in great detail precise instructions for the government of the engineer officers in the further construction of works designed to give greater security to Mobile.
Having compelled this labor, i start this morning, with the consent and approved of Major-General Maury, commanding Department of the Gulf, on my return to Savannah, Ga., to give by personal control a proper direction to the defenses of that city, as they are far from being as complete as they ought to be.
From the most reliable information we can obtain here it is not probable that the enemy can attack this place with land forces at any early day. Every efforts is being made to give additional strength to the outer line of harbor defenses, which can be made, in my opinion, strong enough by the batteries under construction, aided by sawyer, torpedoes, and ropes, to keep the enemy's fleet outside the lower bay. If at the same time a show of naval strength be made on our part, I will feel the greater confidence that the enemy will not attempt to force the passage. General Maury hopes to have such support from Admiral Buchanan, commanding the naval forces on this station.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. F. GILMER,
Major-General and Chief Engineer Bureau.