HDQRS. DISTRICT OF WEST TENNESSEE AND VICKSBURG,
Vicksburg, Miss., November 17, 1864.
Major General J. J. REYNOLDS,
Commanding, at Mouth of White River:
GENERAL: I inclose you copy of dispatch from Major-General Halleck, Chief of Staff of the Army, to Major-General Washburn, received last night from Major-General W.*
Should the rebel leaders now lying from Florence to Jackson find that their probabilities of success in a movement north of the Tennessee River are not sufficient to warrant the attempt, and I think they have come to that conclusion, they will no doubt change their plans and move on Memphis or Vicksburg; they can reach Memphis in five days from Corinth. The garrison at Memphis has been lately reduced very much below the minimum defensive strength, and to avoid the calamity of the loss of the city and immense deports, hospitals, and stores there I urgently request, if the probabilities of attack on the posts in Arkansas have in your opinion passed, that you at once re-enforce Memphis with all the troops you can spare from your command. I state the case thus because if an attack on Memphis is determined on the rebels will close the river above and below Memphis, and also from the belief that General Washburn cannot possibly receive re-enforcements from above.
N. J. T. DANA,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF EASTERN ARKANSAS,,
Helena, Ark., November 17, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel W. D. GREEN,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of Arkansas:
SIR: By the inclosed order I am forbidden to appoint a general court martial until the troops under my command have been designated as a "separate brigade." At the time Captain Meatyard visited Little Rock, he was specially charged, besides his other business, to ask that an order might be issued in compliance with the order might be issued in compliance with the order of the War Department, and he was told that this would be done at once. I desire to call the attention of the major-general commanding to the subject, and respectfully ask that such an order be issued immediately. There are some cases of breach of discipline in this command so violent as to demand an immediate and exemplary punishment. I have three officers in arrest, with charges preferred against them, and a fourth who has been released because more than forty days have elapsed since his arrest, but who is still liable to trial. I am unable to proceed in these cases as justice and the good of the service demand through want of power to assemble a court competent to try the offenders.
N. B. BUFORD,
WAR DEPT., ADJT. GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Washington, August 31, 1864.
COURTS-MARTIAL FOR SEPARATE BRIGADES.
Where a post or district command is composed of mixed troops, equivalent to a brigade, the commanding officer of the department or
*See p. 563.