War of the Rebellion: Serial 059 Page 0681 Chapter XLIV. CORRESPONDENCE.-CONFEDERATE.

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the safety of the great interest make it absolutely necessary to strengthen the force int he front and without loss of time. Clanton's force, sixteen companies, is not capable of presenting any serious resistance to an advancing column of 4,000 cavalry. I have to-day given orders for four more companies to join him, but the companies turned over to me are scattered and so remote that it will require several weeks to get them in hand and [use?] them. Lockhart has not turned me over any others, through I have applied to him to do so.



Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.

P. S. -General Johnston sent these dispatches by an officer of his staff.

G. J. P.

[Inclosure Numbers 1.]


Dalton, Ga., March 26, 1864.


Commanding, &c., Headquarters Montgomery, Ala.:

GENERAL: I am instructed by General Johnston to inclosure to you the accompanying letter from Colonel B. J. Hill, provost-marshal-general of this army, with the earnest request that you will give the matter to which it relates the consideration it merits. He desires me simply to inclose you the letter for such action a to you may seem best.

A copy of Colonel Hill's letter has been sent to General Wheeler with the information that you would be written to on the subject. It is probable that he will send General Morgan, of Martin's cavalry division, with the necessary comma, for temporary duty in Northern Alabama.

I am, general, with high respect, your obedient servant,


Colonel and Assistant Inspector-General.



Dalton, March 25, 1864.

Colonel E. J. HARVIE,

Assistant Inspector-General:

COLONEL: Private E. D. Meroney, Company D, Third Confederate Cavalry, was captured at Philadelphia, East Tenn., on the 20th October, 1863, and put in prison at Knoxville, and remained there about two, when he made his escape and went to his home in Blount Country, North Ala. He got an intimation while in prison that there was a secret society organized between the Northern and Southern armies, the object of which is to deplete our ranks by desertion. He mentioned to one of the guards that he would give anything to get of prison. The guard replied: "If you were all right, Jack, and had plenty of money you could get out." On his arrival in North Alabama he found the whole country disloyal and full of deserters. He was sick for some time; as soon as he was able to go about he went to work to find out how he could become a member of this secret society. He found out, took the oath, and become