entirely confined to government transportation, and the income but little, if any, more than sufficient to pay expenses. The cost of subsistence is so great that I am frequently compelled to increase the wages of employes to enable them to pay their daily expenses for board. I find it almost impossible to hire blacks to keep our track in safe condition. It is quite probable I could obtain a limited supply of materials for repairs from within the Federal lines if permitted to send out cotton in payment for them. I have no other means of paying for them if obtained outside of the Confederate lines. Will you grant such permission? If granted it is quite probable I could obtain some army supplies also and make the effort if you will enter into a contract with me to that effect on the same terms and conditions that contracts have been granted to others. I received notice about a week since through Colonel Tate that you wished this road repaired into Canton and desired me to commence the work at once. I immediately commenced making such preparations as I could to facilitate repairs, and informed Colonel Tate that it would be impossible for me to hire labor, and if obtained it must be done through the military authorities. Since then I have no further instructions, and nothing has been yet done.
CAMP TWENTY-FOURTH MISSISSIPPI REGIMENT,
Dalton, Ga. March 29, 1864.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War, C. S. Army:
SIR: I would most respectfully submit for your consideration the following statement of facts, and for the relief of the loyal citizens of Southeastern Mississippi earnestly solicit the attention of the War Department to the condition of affairs now existing in that section of the State. I have just returned to the army from a short leave of absence, which I spent in Greene County, Miss., and I therefore make my statements from a personal knowledge of their truth. Previous to starting to Mississippi I was aware of the presence of large numbers of deserters and conscripts in that section of the State, but until I arrived in the country I did not know that they were in organized bodies and committing depredations and deeds of violence, bloodshed, and outlawry, and that there was no force in the country to contend against them or to defend the loyal portion of the citizens from their savage caprices and brutal whims. But such I found to be the case, and the whole southern and southeastern section of Mississippi is in a most deplorable condition, and unless succor is sent speedily the country is utterly ruined, and every loyal citizen will be driven from it or meet a tragic and untimely fate at the hands of those who are aiding and abetting our enemies. Several of the most prominent citizens have already been driven from their homes, and some have been slaughtered in their own homes because they refused to obey the mandates of the outlaws and abandon the country. Numbers have been ordered away and are now living under threats and in fear of their lives. It is a matter of great personal danger and risk for an officer or soldier of the Confederate army to make his appearance in the country, and so perfect are these organizations and systems of dispatching that in a few hours large