COLUMBIA, S. C., May 7, 1864.
Lieutenant S. C. BOYLSTON, A. A. G.:
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report:
On Monday, 26th, I reached Columbia and carried my orders to Major Melton, commanding conscripts, who at once took great interest in the expedition, and instructed the enrolling officer of Anderson District to furnish a detachment of cavalry and everything necessary for the successful prosecution of the enterprise. As they cavalry were scattered over throughout the upper districts, I war obliged to wait two days before a body of 13 cavalry could be assembled. With these and a wagon, containing forage and rations, I left Walhalla for Rabun on Friday morning, and crossing the mountain the roads were so bad that my wagon broke down, and I was obliged to return to Walhalla for repairs. I traveled all night, and entering Rabun County about daylight, scattered my detachment in small squads about the country. It was a complete surprise, and that night had arrested about a dozen of the worst deserters in the county, and in two days after had collected some 20 or 30 deserters, 13 of whom belonged to our regiment. As I now had as many prisoners as I could possibly guard with my force, I was compelled to return for the purpose of bringing on my prisoners to Columbia. I regret to say that my force was entirely too small. No less than 50 deserters passed over into Towns County, which now is said to have at least about 250 deserters.
I have made a full statement of facts to Major Melton, commandant of conscripts. He had ordered me to go to Colonel Browne, commandant of conscripts in Georgia, and get full authority to call on such force as may be necessary to make a successful sweep of the whole county of Towns, and those adjacent to it.
I would respectfully request the colonel commanding to assist me un procuring the pack of dogs at Green Pond, as they will be of the last importance in this kind of service.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. J. SIMKINS,
First Lieutenant, First South Carolina Artillery.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF S. C., GA., AND FLA., Numbers 128.
Charleston, S. C., May 8, 1864.
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VI. Brigadier General Thomas Jordan, Provisional Army, C. S., will report by letter to Major-General Gilmer for assignment to the command of the Third Military District of South Carolina.
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By command of Major-General Jones:
P. C. WARWICK,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
CHARLESTON, S. C., May 8, 1864.
Brigadier General R. S. RIPLEY, Mount Pleasant:
The Macbeth Artillery is relieved from duty in this department, and will report to Colonel Palmer, Western North Carolina.
H. W. FEILDEN,