sides the pernicious influence which is exerted by these innumerable hiding places from active service, the expense of keeping them up is a matter worthy of serious consideration and calling for correction. These posts seem to be distributed in all the districts of this department in about equal proportion. The lieutenant-general commanding therefore directs that, with a view to the correction of what he deems this evil, you will report the central points within your district at which military posts are necessary in order that they may be established and placed on the proper footing, and all the other posts broken up. In this selection of important points, centrality of location, accessibility, and the actual necessities of the service, should govern. The mere fact of the existence of a depot of supplies of quartermaster, commissary, or other stores, should not alone justify the establishment of a military post, with a commandant and the official retinue, which now prevail. For purposes of guarding supplies, disabled non-commissioned officers and soldiers can be furnished. To arrest recusant conscripts, stragglers, deserters, &c., the enrolling offices of the various district or counties can be made available, and the reserve and supporting force of the conscript bureau can be used and assigned for such service by the officer commanding the reserves of each State. The importance of the matter and the benefit which will accrue by prompt action in the premises, it is hoped, will suggest themselves to you and cause the selections to be made and the central posts established with as little delay as possible and your reports forwarded to this office.
It is intended that the military posts which will thus be established shall be under the immediate control and management of the district commander in which they are located; the required monthly reports, returns, &c., to be forwarded to this office through district headquarters. You will report by name all offices and men who are relieved from the posts you break up, and all who are not pronounced unfit for field duty by proper medical examining boards will be ordered by you to join their commands. All disabled officers and enlisted men within your district unfit for field duty (which must appear from certificates of medical examining boards) now serving at posts, and whom you do not assign to the central military posts which you will establish, will be ordered by you to proceed immediately to camp at Lauderdale Springs, Miss., at which place a camp for disabled officers and men and supernumerary officers is officers is established. All supernumerary officers within your district will likewise be ordered to that camp. The lieutenant-general commanding further desires that, if it can possibly be done, only disabled officers and men unfit for field duty will be assigned to duty at posts.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. M. LEVY,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Inspector-General.
(Same to Generals Maury, Hodge, Wirt Adams, and D. W. Adams.)
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF ALA., MISS., AND EAST LA.,
Selma, October 24, 1864.
Major General FRANK. GARDNER,
Commanding MISSISSIPPI and East Louisiana:
GENERAL: Scouts near Memphis report from 4,000 to 5,000 of the enemy's infantry having been landed at that point from Vicksburg.
54 R R -VOL XXXIX, PT III