War of the Rebellion: Serial 079 Page 0860 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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TALLADEGA, October 28, 1864.

Major E. S. BURFORD,

Assistant Adjutant -General:

General Wheeler had better send force to intercept enemy's movements on Jacksonville and Blue Mountain. I have none here to protect those points on the railroad. What I had is with General Hood's army.


Brigadier -General.


Selma, Ala., October 28, 1864.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your communication of the 27th ultimo. The inspection reports to which you refer cannot, I am sure, have represented the condition of the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana to be worse than the actual state of affairs warranted at the time I assumed command. Since reaching the department I have visited nearly every section of it, have found its condition to be certainly very deplorable, and have taken such steps as I could at the moment to correct that condition. The inclosure which I have the honor to transmit herewith will exhibit to some extent what I have done in this reference. Much, however, has been in the way of orders, &c., transmitted by indorsement upon papers coming up to my headquarters upon various subjects which needed correction. I have also personally urged upon subordinate commanding officers the great importance of their unceasing co-operation with me in securing order, discipline, and efficiency in the troops and a healthy condition of public sentiment in their several districts. The illegal traffic with the enemy has certainly caused much of the demoralization found to exist in MISSISSIPPI and East Louisiana, and is attributable in my opinion to the license granted by chiefs of bureaux at Richmond, some of them approved by the War Department to various parties to introduce army supplies in exchange for Government cotton. I found existing in the department several such licenses, also authority to Treasury agents to ship cotton thorough the lines in exchange for gold or sterling, besides innumerable contracts entered into by district commanders with blockade runners, with approval of department commanders, for army supplies, to be paid for in Government cotton, with privilege of conveying same through the lines. I found three licenses for this trade bearing the approval of the honorable Secretary of War, two of them to officers of the C. S. Army, viz: one to Major A. M. Paxton, quartermaster, for the purchase of mules and horses; the other to Major Jones, quartermaster, for purchase of meat; the THIRD was to Mr. J. J. Pollard for the introduction of all kinds of army supplies. Major Paxton never did anything under his license. Major Jones was discovered accidentally by the seizure in North Alabama, by one of my district commanders, of a large number of Governments wagons leaded with cotton and being sent to enemy's lines by Major Jones under his license, to be there exchanged for meat. Mr. Pollard's contract alone served to corrupt all the corruptible people in North Mississippi, where he attempted to operate under it.