I cannot understand how he can claim, either by law or any orders, that this and other like companies belong to the "reserves of the State. " The companies have been regularly mustered into the service of the Confederate States, and, in accordance with verbal instructions from the lieutenant -general commanding "to unite such to organized commands, or break them up and turn the officers and men over to the camps of conscription," as soon as I received official information of such companies I assigned Captain Miller's, Captain Hudnall's, and Captain Whittaler's (the latter of Gillum's proposed regiment) to Moorman's battalion, Wood's brigade. They being old and good companies, I deemed it preferable to breaking them up for conscription, which was at my discretion, and I propose doing the same with Moore's company. It is a gratifying coincidence of official orders to find Colonel Walter, inspector -general of the State, now on the same duty, under instructions direct from Secretary of War, with the same orders, and, probably, in the same words quoted above. This action of mine was taken without any knowledge that General Brandon claimed these companies or had give any orders in reference to them. It seems to me that this matter has been very conveniently arranged by Major Denis, as commandant of conscripts, turning over Confederate companies to the reserves, and General Brandon, as commandant of the reserves, accepting the same and appointing Major Denis colonel, a portion of his force being these same troops. I deem it my duty, also, to report that I have proper and authentic information that some of the men of Colonel Denis' regiment of reserves are known to be between the agent of eighteen and forty- five and are put down on the rolls as seventeen or over forty-five. I also deem it my duty to report that I have information that there are still on duty in the conscript service officers and men no "such as are retired or assigned to light duty by medical boards," who have not been relieved in accordance with General Orders, Numbers 78, from Adjutant and Inspector General's office, dated September 22, 1864. In reference to the part of General Brandon's letter, that he has ordered the "reserves not to obey any orders unless emaniting from or passing through" his headquarters, I respectfully state that the above mentioned Colonel Denis is now the recognized commander of the Northern District of Mississippi, and his troops are mostly at this time reserves and State troops. I cannot recognize such orders from General Brandon as compatible with military service unless he should be placed in immediate command of the reserves in the field, which I have invited, of unless by his rank being increased to the next grade above mine he should be placed in command of this district. In this connection I deem it my duty to report that I have received no support or assistance from General Brandon except by the small force under Colonel Denis, and in that particular he has endeavored to change the position of the Confederate companies alluded to above without making a corresponding increase of the force in this district. This appears to me to be designated to "increase his count" (a phrase I heard the militia commanding at Mobile make use of) instead of increasing the forces in this district, which the organization of the reserves requires.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,