to accomplish the necessary end-good to the country. There is not one bit of reliability in the deserters that have returned to service up here as a mass; here and there a good man, generally bad, and steps must be taken to put the last one of them into his former command, the grave, or prison. To do this I must have more force, and the sooner 'tis done the better. The brush command are deserting constantly and gong back to the brush or to the Federals.
The troops I have that are reliable are hard at work, and I have nearly 60 deserters, absentees, and disloyal men in the guard-house, and when I start them off I expect an attempt at rescue on the road, but shall send them under a strong escort, with orders to take them through or kill them. Two weeks ago a arty went through the country impressing arms; last night the same thing was repeated, and yet I can catch none of these villains. I have never been in a country where the people were so perfectly worthless and so cowardly as here. I am now trying as a last resort to get them to organize a company in each county for police duty. If I can effect this in time to root out the men in the brush before spring I may save the country; otherwise it will go up certain if the Federals make any demonstration.
I would like to get out of this country, I assure you, but am unwilling to ask to be allowed to leave a skinning ship.
HENRY E. McCULLOCH.
[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
HEADQUARTERS SECOND BORDER REGIMENT,
Gainesville, Tex. January 21, 1864.
Brigadier General H. E. McCULLOCH,
Commanding Northern Sub-District, Bonham, Tex.:
GENERAL: On last Saturday night I started Lieutenant Hamilton, of Captain Patton's company, with a detachment of men, to Denton County, for the purpose of arresting deserters and conscripts, with instructions to learn all he could of the sentiments of the people in that country, owning that there was a bad element there. He returned this evening, having left his command at midnight last night, and riding hard all day to inform me of what he had learned. He says that on arriving at home last Sunday, where he spent the day, he started out next morning for the purpose of collecting up the scattered men of his company, preparatory for the arresting of the deserters and brush men. Collecting a sufficient force, as he supposed, the started yesterday morning to a thicket some 12 miles southeast of Denton, in Elm Creek Bottom, where he had understood they were concentrating.
On arriving in the neighborhood of the thicket he learned that they had been stealing supplies of every description from the citizens, has pressed several double-barreled shotguns, had gone into houses and demanded six-shooters, had pressed three double-barreled shot-guns from the wives of soldiers, and yesterday morning a very respectable man, a good, loyal citizen, and the owner of some 30 negroes, in short, one of the best men of the county (a Mr. Craft), rode some 10 miles up the bottom to hunt for some oxen, when he met with a party of men, 31 in number, who arrested him, too his horse and saddle, set him afoot, cursed him as a "d-d old secessionist," told him that he had had his day and that now they were