or coming month, hence their preparations. Dunham desired me to forward the inclosed to you. We left him Monday evening on board the gun-boat Tyler, awaiting the arrival of a steamer going up White River, at the mouth of which stream the iron-clad was stationed. It has taken us seven days to reach this point, owing to the fact that the pilots do not deem it prudent to run the boat at night.
I remain, my dear general, very faithfully, yours,
JAMES GRANT WILSON,
Colonel, & c.
Memorandum made after conversing with Mr. Louis Tim, a German, who has resided during the past twenty-five years in Mobile, which city he left with his family on the 18th of January and came on board the Northerner at Grand Gulf on the 30th: Since the commencement of the year troops have been moving from Mobile to Dalton, leaving but a small force for the defense of the city. There are probably not above 4,000 now there, under command of General Maury. Polk was at Meridian on 20th January with about 12,000 troops; Lee at Jackson at the same date with 3,000 cavalry, and a force of about 7,000 at Enterprise, commanding officer's name not known. In addition to the above, there are small bodies of troops at Selma, Clinton, and Raymond. No immediate attack on Mobile is anticipated. Could probably be taken at this time without much loss. Many of the guns have been taken from the defenses and sent to Johnston's army. Trains are running regularly from the city to Atlanta, Dalton, and Jackson. Very few able-bodied men, white or black, between the ages of eighteen and fifty in Mobile. The former have been forced into the army or have fled, while the latter have been sent into Georgia for safe-keeping. There are three wooden gun-boats at Mobile, carrying four and six guns, and an unfinished iron-clad ram, which is expected to be ready for service by the end of February, and to immediately attack the Federal fleet. The citizens of Mobile, or a good portion thereof, are tired of rebel rule, and would welcome the old flag back again. Dr. Le Vert, and other prominent people, it is generally understood, consider the cause lost, and its continuance useless and inexpedient. The troops in and around Mobile are well supplied with food and clothing, and in excellent health. Many of the men, particularly the Germans and Irish, are tired of the war and will desert at the first opportunity. General Polk's troops at Meridian, so far as observed, were in good condition, but Lee's cavalry at jackson were poorly mounted, many of the men astride of mules, and they not of the best.
GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, Numbers 23.
New Orleans, February 3, 1864.
The following general regulations are published for the information and government of all interested in the subject of compensated plantation labor, public or private, during the present year, and in continuation of the system established January 30, 1863:
I. The enlistment of soldiers from plantations under cultivation in this department, having been suspended by order of the Government, will not be resumed except upon direction of the same high authority.