War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 0653 Chapter LIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE, Washington, November 23, 1864.

Major General W. F. SMITH,

U. S. Volunteers, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: By direction of the President you are appointed a special commissioner to inspect and report upon the condition of affairs in the Military Division of West Mississippi. This inspection and investigation will embrace the condition, discipline, and supplies of the troops of that division, the operations of the quartermaster's and other staff departments, and all matters connected with contraband trade. For this purpose you are authorized by the President to take the deposition of any citizen and of any person in the military, naval, or civil service of the United States. You are also authorized to call upon any military or other officer for such reports or statements as you may deem necessary for your information. You will be accompanied and assisted in the performance of these duties by your aides-de-camp and by an officer of the Judge-Advocate's Department. The latter will summon the witnesses, administer the oath, and take down the testimony. While employed upon these duties yourself and the officers accompanying you will be allowed commutation for fuel and quarters, to be determined by the Quartermaster-General. Office room and stationery will be furnished by the quartermaster's department on proper requisitions. You will from time to time report, direct to the Adjutant-General of the Army, the results of your investigation, recommending for removal, dismissal, or trail such officers as you may find unworthy of their present position or employment. You will give in each case the reasons for such recommendation and copies of the testimony upon which it is based.

By order of the Secretary of War:

E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI, OFFICE OF THE CHIEF SIGNAL OFFICER, New Orleans, La., November 23, 1864.

Lieutenant Colonel C. T. CHRISTENSEN,

Asst. Adjt. General, Mil. Div. of West Miss., New Orleans, La.:

SIR: I have the honor to submit to your consideration a statement of the information received at this office this 23rd day of November, 1864, from the following source, a report from Lieutenant William Argo, Sedalia. Mo., November 11:

Lieutenant Argo represents Saline County, Mo., as partially freed from bushwhackers since the of Price, but not entirely so.

I have the honor to be,very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. M. JACKSON,

Second Lieutenant, Signal Corps, U. S. Army.

BATON ROUGE, November 23, 1864-2.30 p. m.

Lieutenant Colonel C. T. CHRISTENSEN,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

General Lee has returned with his command badly used up. He himself will be unable to go on account of utter prostration. Can Gen-