HDQRS. DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI AND EAST LOUISIANA,
Corinth, Miss., November 11, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel E. SURGET,
Asst. Adjt. General, Department Headquarters, Selma, Ala.:
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report to the lieutenant-general commanding:
I started from Jackson on Thursday, the 3d, by railroad to Oxford, and horseback northward and westward, following up the command of Colonel Denis, who had been ordered to tear up the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. On Sunday night I stopped eight miles from Collierville, and during the night Denis' outside scouts and pickets came in and gave me information that Colonel Denis had torn up the road from Germantown eastward as far as La Fayette, and had marched back Sunday afternoon to Holly Springs; not having transportation to carry his rations he had returned to Oxford to replenish his supply. Failing thus to meet with Colonel Denis I sent orders to him to make his camp near Byhalia, to keep Memphis in constant observation, and be in position to meet any raid from that place. Colonel Denis' reserves, between 500 and 600 men, constitute the entire force of the Northern District, and I ordered by telegraph that Brigadier General Wirt Adams should be assigned to the command of the Northern District, with his headquarters at Holly Springs, and bring with him 150 men from the Central District. On Monday morning I started for this place, and, in consequence of heavy rains, only arrived yesterday (Thursday).
I find this position is commencing to be a heavy depot, and needs a thorough organization with an efficient garrison. Colonel Wade is now in command, with a guard of about 150 men from Roddey's command, and expects about 100 of his own men, and desires to make application for the remainder. I ordered by telegraph that Mabry's men should be sent here from Grenada and from Jackson as soon as they could be relieved. There is but one quartermaster here (outside of those of Hood's army, temporarily here, forwarding supplies), and three would be kept constantly busy. There is no transportation, and the hauling of fuel for men arriving here, as well as for the garrison, is of itself a considerable item, and I have instructed the quartermaster to make a requisition for ten wagons ment seems to be well established, also the hospital department, but a wayside hospital should be established at WEST Point, where the sick train from this place stops at night. It is also essential that hospital accommodations should be furnished at this place or some proper position on the railroad in the rear for negroes. There is no provision made for transporting the sick from the railroad to the hospital, and I have directed the quartermaster to make a requisition for four ambulances and mules. There has been nothing done in the engineer department here, although I ordered Major Wintter here last Sunday week, and gave him orders to impress negroes and tools if necessary. His lieutenant is here and informs me that Major Wintter was taken sick at Okolona, where he met General Smith and Colonel Lockett. My orders were to build strong stockades to defend this depot and other prominent points on the road, but the two chief engineers have decided to complete the line of fortifications around the place, which General Beauregard found too extensive for 40,000 men. With all due deference to their higher position in this regard and higher talent, I think it is absurd to attempt to defend this depot by a few hundred men scattered over a space of about six miles or upward, but it is not in my power to order either of them to change their plans. Colonel Reid has just arrived under orders