JACKSON, March 31, 1864.
Brigadier General J. R. CHALMERS:
GENERAL: The general commanding has just left with his escort company, going in the direction of Purdy, having received information that there are about 6,000 Federals at Purdy; he will skirmish with the enemy and endeavor to hold them in check. He directs that you will move in the direction of Pocahontas, leaving one regiment in the vicinity of Somerville, for the purpose of watching the movements of the enemy. The general directs that in the event of the enemy moving after the Federal prisoners that he will rely on you for assistance. He has ordered everything to move from this place this morning (a few dismounted men and some 240 guns) to join you, crossing the river at or below Estenaula. You will please communicate with me informing me where to join you on the other side of the river, and if you think it necessary you can send the unarmed men after the guns, as we are scarce of transportation. If possible you will communicate with the general commanding in the direction of Purdy or on the road from Montezuma to Pocahontas, as [it] is uncertain which road he will take. He has ordered General Buford to concentrate his command at Trenton as speedily as possible. Colonel Bell's wagon train has been ordered north of Hatchie.
J. P. STRANGE,
OFFICE CONTROLLING QUARTERMASTER
TAX IN KIND FOR MISSISSIPPI AND EAST LOUISIANA,
Columbus, Miss., March 31, 1864.
Colonel T. M. JACK,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Demopolis, Ala.:
COLONEL: Through you I would respectfully represent to the lieutenant-general commanding that I am officially informed, through Captain W. J. Bryant, post quartermaster engaged in collecting and transferring the tax in kind in the Seventh District, that "the state of affairs in a portion of his district is very annoying." That "the deserters have overrun and taken possession of the country, in many cases exiling the good and loyal citizens or shooting them in cold blood on their own door-sills." That his "agent in Jones County was ordered by them to leave the county, since which time he has not been heard from." That this "agent in Covington County has been notified by them (the deserters) to desist from collecting the tithe and to distribute what he has to their families, and the agent continues his duties at the risk of his life and property." That "the deserters from Jones and Perry Counties made a raid upon Augusta, in Perry County, capturing a part of the small force there and destroying the public stores which wee had collected there," & c.
You will perceive that under these circumstances we cannot discharge our duty, and that the public interests, no less than the public honor, demand that a check be put to these lawless and pernicious acts. I respectfully appeal to the lieutenant-general to take such measures as in his judgment the exigency demands.