The limited means placed in my hands have prevented me from remaining longer in that part or visiting other parts of the country in Northwest Mississippi, from employing other agents than those who act gratuitously. I would in conclusion respectfully suggest to the general commanding a plan for the suppression of most, if not all, the lawlessness prevalent in that part of the country, and that is the employment of one or more companies of cavalry as a permanent provost guard, patrolling the country in all directions and destroying all ferries and roads except those absolutely necessary for travel; thus breaking up the mode of egress and ingress to Memphis as much as possible. These guards will answer the double purpose of scouts, couriers, and are ready for service against small raiding parties from the enemy's lines. They could scatter through the country so as not to attract the attention of a large force, and can be easily consolidated when necessary. these, under the command of a deputy provost-marshal-general for the northern part of Mississippi and West Tennessee, would do much to prevent these disorders.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
DALTON, March 16, 1864.
GENERAL: I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 7th instant.
The organization of the artillery which i found in this army had been made by Lieutenant-General Hardee, with a corresponding tabular report and recommendations for the appointment of field officers. I postponed action in the matter from day to day, hoping for the assistance of a general officer of artillery. You speak of Major-General Lovell in connection with that position; might he not be assigned to it? It is no more inadequate to the grade of major-general than are most of our divisions of infantry.
You directs me to take measures to procure artillery horses as soon as possible. I have been doing so since January, but I beg that it may be considered that I am confined to my small limits in the northwestern part of Georgia and the mountains of Alabama, long since stripped of everything necessary to an army. I shall therefore be dependent on the Department in Richmond for all the supplies enumerated in my letter to you February 27. My "staff departments" can get forward only such supplies as may be furnished by officers who owe obedience neither to them nor to me, and whose purchases are necessarily made outside of my department. In connection with this subject I beg leave to say that the plan of campaign to which you have twice refereed has not been communicated to me, and that the scale on which preparations are to be made must depend on a knowledge of it and of the forces to be used.
Lieutenant-General Longstreet has written to me that he is directed to confer with me in relation to a junction of our forces at Madisonville, East Tenn., for a movement thence into Middle Tennessee. It seems to me that the point of junction is too near the enemy and tat his armies, being much nearer to each other than ours are, might easily unite against either of ours before the junction. It seems to me that such a junction should be by routes on which our troops would not be exposed to such a chance. I respectfully