Colonel Maury with a regiment of cavalry had been sent from Mobile into Jones County and had encountered and captured some of them, but cavalry, unaided by well-drilled infantry troops in large forces, will never be able to dislodge them and relieve the country. The loyal citizens are sorely oppressed and are looking to the Government for relief, and unless they get such relief soon the country will be utterly and irretrievably ruined. It is a serious matter, one that calls loudly for prompt and immediate attention on the part of the Government, and as a Confederate officer, as a citizen of that portion of Mississippi, whose friends and family are exposed to this growing evil, I have felt it my duty to lay the matter before the proper authorities and in behalf of the oppressed to solicit the consideration and succor of the Government. I give it as my honest opinion, based upon what I saw and learned, that not less than a brigade of well-drilled infantry troops, a force sufficient to sweep the country at once, will be able to exterminate them from the country. Cavalry can never do it, and as yet only cavalry has been sent, and only in small bodies. These they have heretofore driven out of the country, and have grown the more daring after each success.
Trusting that this may meet the serious consideration of those into whose hands is committed the destinies of our struggling young country, and with the assurance that I can substantiate by as much evidence as may be desired all and even more than has been stated in the foregoing.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. WIRT THOMSON,
Captain Company A, Twenty-fourth Mississippi Regiment.
[Indorsement Numbers 1.]
APRIL 5, 1864.
Forward to General Polk, with request that prompt and decisive measures be taken to arrest and punish these marauding bands of deserters.
J. A. S.
[Indorsement Numbers 2.]
ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE,
April 19, 1864.
Respectfully referred to Lieutenant-General Polk, whose attention is requested to indorsement of the Secretary of War.
By order of Adjutant and Inspector General:
H. L. CLAY,
SPECIAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPT. ALA., MISS., AND E. LA.,
Demopolis, Ala., March 29, 1864.
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V. Major-General French will proceed with his command by easy marches to Lauderdale Springs, Miss., and there halt and await further orders.
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By command of Lieutenant-General Polk: