The failure to extend to the troops of Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina, when passing their homes, the same indulgences as had been granted to those of Mississippi, gave much dissatisfaction and caused large numbers to leave the ranks en route. I believe they intended to reamin home but a short time and return, but the recent movements of the enemy will prevent them from doing so. A detail of efficient and reliable officers under the charge of an experienced general officer would, I think, collect most of the absentees in a short time. At Tupelo a system of furloughs (one to fifteen) similar to that ordered by General Johnston, at Dalton, was adopted and is now in operation. I respectfully recommend that it be continued until al entitled thereto received its benefit.
I am, colonel, respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. L. STEVENSON,
Charlotte, March 5, 1865.
Respectfully forwarded to General Johnston for his information.
Sharp's (Mississippi) brigade (219 effectives) and Brantly's (195 effectives) were furloughed about the 17th of January, to rendezvous at Meridian on thge 1st of February, thence to rejoin the corps on the way to Augusta. Baker's (Alabama) brigade (about 600 effectives), long stationed at Mobile, was temporarily transferred with Holtzclaw's (Alabama) brigade (about 500 effectives) to enable the latter to refit and recruit. Jackson's (Georgia) brigade (101 effectives) was temporarily transferred with Gibson's (Louisiana) brigade (262 effectives) to enable them to recruit in their respective States. At the time these transfers were made Lee's corps only was expected to have been sent east. Now that Cheatham's corps has been ordered in the same direction, Jackson's brigade will necessarily have to return to its proper command, while Gibson's brigade will remain detached until it can be returned by Lieutenant-General Taylor, who was authorized to keep it (as well as Sharp's and Brantly's brigades, should he required them), on allowing Stewart's corps, except French's division, to come east, for he had been authorized by the President to retain, if necessary, this corps, i. e., the old Mississippi army, which General Taylor allowed to depart provided he could retain the brigades already named, i. e., Gibson's, Sharp's, and Brantly's. A ten day's furlough was granted at Tupelo, by General Hood (with my approval), to those Mississippi troops, because they would have had to wait several days for railroad transportation to Montgomery, whilst by allowing them to rendezvous at Meridian, on the 1st February, they could visit their homes to refit themselves and be at Augusta nearly as soon as the rest of the command, which would have been the case, probably, had not General Taylor found it necessary to retain them as already stated in the place of General Stewart's corps, less French's division. They recommendation that a detail of efficient and reliable officers be sent to collect absentees is approved and has been ordered. The system of furlough adopted or ordered at Tupelo is also approved and should be carried out.
G. T. BEAUREGARD,