support horses, there being no chance to get forage north of Arkansas River. If Clark was out of here and no conflict with my orders I could very soon get up a good command, one strong enough to capture all the Yankees north of Arkansas River. I have been busily engaged in trying to suppress jayhawking.
I am, your obedient servant,
S. G. KITCHEN,
Colonel, Commanding Recruits.
HDQRS. DIST. S. W. MISSISSIPPI AND E. LOUISIANA,
Camp Dick Garnett, March 30, 1864.
Major G. W. HOLT,
MAJOR: In accordance with Special Orders, No. 65, paragraph IX, from headquarters Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana, I have relieved Colonel Dillon of the command of this district, and now respectfully report to Major-General Lee. Having arrived but recently, I have not had an opportunity of making a personal inspection of my district, but from consultation with Colonel Dillon I note the following as some of its chief wants: The citizens of the country hold innumerable claims, both formal and informal, against the General Government, and its continued inattention to this matter produces serious inconvenience and even some disaffection among them. I therefore urgently request that Major Randall Higgins be sent to my district, with an adequate supply of funds of the new issue for the payment of such claims, as also of my troops.
I would call your attention to the necessity for the collection of the tax in kind in order for the subsistence of my troops. On November 30, 1863, the War Department declared it impracticable to collect the tax in East Louisiana. However, article 46 or the instructions of Colonel Larkin Smith, Acting Quartermaster-General, dated December 1, 1863, provides that "quartermasters and commissaries serving with troops may receive from producers the tithe tax, when authorized to do so by the chief quartermaster or commissary of the army in which they are serving." As this tithe tax constitutes the support of my command, I request that such authority be granted my quartermasters and commissaries. General Polk promised me a battery of four Parrott guns, which I am looking for, and hope it may very soon arrive. Colonel Dillon has heretofore asked that some troops from another section be sent here, and I desire to impress upon you the importance of this. My muster-rolls call for 1,450 men, while I doubt very much if 500 of them could be carried into action. The presence of the men in the vicinity of their homes furnishes the cause of innumerable desertions. In regard to the other wants of my district I refer you to Colonel Dillon's letter of a previous date, as also to the colonel himself, with whom I desire you to have a full conversation in regard to my command.
In regard to the companies of Miles' Legion, I refer you to Colonel Dillon's letter of the 18th of March. From all I can learn these men will not go into Colonel Dumonteil's regiment, in which case they will be thrown on my hands as so many more deserters, while, on the contrary, if they are allowed to remain here and be mounted, they will add that much more to my force, which is now by far too