use his personal influence to induce the men to return to their colors. Of course I charged him to make no pledges or promises for me. I inclose Colonel Maury's last dispatch.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
DABNEY H. MAURY,
Major-General, Commanding Department of the Gulf.
ELLISVILLE, March 12, 1864.
MY DEAR GENERAL: Yesterday we moved on Leaf River, 10 miles west of this place, and I am satisfied that there no longer remains any organization of deserters in this county, although some few scattered outlaws are still lurking about in the swamp and will have to be hunted out with dogs. They have scattered in every direction; some west, but for Honey Island and the coast. They brag that they will get Yankee aid and return. They are panic stricken, and although their leaders twice got them in position to ambush me they fled both times to the swamps on my approach. They don't mind being taken prisoners and sent off, but they won't face the hanging.
There has never been at any time more than 150 resident deserters in this county, although some more have been over from Perry and Covington to help to with the cavalry. This is positive, and there are not 20 men lying out in Jones at this time.
If I were sure you would not want us I would scout on Pearl River, but I hear nothing from you lately. I got a dispatch from Garner last night; "Don't leave a company in Jones County," which I don't understand, but presume refers to some previous order which I have missed. We have moved about very rapidly, and there is no part of the county unexplored by us. I shall send Moreland to report to you and the other companies to Conoley, as I have no further need of infantry.
We have supplied ourselves from Jasper County, and have drawn nothing from Mobile since we left, which I suppose you are glad of. Send to Bob Cottrell for a bear's skin, if you have not already received it.
Most sincerely and affectionately, yours,
P. S.- The state of affairs which has prevailed here is on account of the want of protection to property afforced by the presence of even a small number of troops. The adjoining counties, Perry, Green, and Covington, are in just as bad a condition, and all the souther counties in Mississippi will follow if they are not intimidated by what has been done in Jones. The women are frightened and are working hard to get the men to some in and are doing some good. They no longer encourage them to take the woods, which is a favorable change.
DEPARTMENT OF LIEUTENANT-GENERAL POLK,
March 15, 1864.
Major J. C. DENIS, Provost-Marshal-General, Mobile, Ala.:
MAJOR: I have the honor to report that in compliance with instructions received from your office, I proceeded as near the enemy's