general commanding the department a plan of distribution of troops, with a view to having the whole State under military control. The troops in Northern Mississippi are drawing their supplies now from Memphis, generally with a great deal of wagoning. The troops in Eastern Mississippi are supplied from Mobile and Meridian. The small post at Pascagoula is supplied from New Orleans. I have, however, no report from it. All other garrison are subsisted from the depots at Vicksburg and Natchez. It is my intention to supply hereafter all troops along the Southern Railroad as far east as Brandon, and along the Mississippi Central and New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad from Vicksburg via Jackson. The gap in the railroad between Big Black and Jackson will be reduced in a very few weeks, and the amount of wagons in by this route is not greater than by way of Memphis. As soon as the road is in running order from Jackson to Big Black I would propose to supply all the troops within the State by the same channel, with the exception of the small garrison on and near the Gulf. As a general thing there are no supplies in the country which could be spared for the use of the troops. I am informed that there is some corn and beef along the Mobile and Ohio and the New Orleans Railroad, but the people will need all that the State affords, and more too. The great demand will keep the prices of these articles so high that it will be cheaper for the Government to draw from the North. The different railroads are in the following condition: The Southern Railroad is in operation from Vicksburg to Big Black, and from Jackson to Meridian. The gap of thirty-four miles between Big Black and Jackson is in process of reconstructions, and will be closed by the 15th of July. Mobile and Ohio Railroad is in operation regularly to Okolona, and occasionally to Corinth, and bids fair soon to be repaired thoroughly over its whole length. New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad is in operation from Canton to Brookhaven (except over a gap of one miles at Jackson, which will be closed in a day or two), connecting thence for passengers by hand-car as far as Ponchatoula, where the trains for New Orleans connect. This road is very little damaged, and all the iron is at hand, but there are thirty-seven small bridges to be rebuilt before the locomotive can pass through south of Brookhaven. The company has raised capital in New Orleans to complete all repairs shortly. Mississippi Central Railroad is running regular trains from Canton (connecting with those of the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Norther Railroad) as far north as Senatobia, and from thence run by horse power to Hernando. Between Hernando and Memphis the road is badly destroyed; repairs are, however, being made. Mississippi and Tennessee Railroad is running trains from Grenada to Oxford, from whence they connect by hand-car to Holly Springs. No connection beyond. The telegraph is in operation on all the old lines, and no interruption has occurred. As for the mail, we are totally without the institution. I have applied to the postmaster at Vicksburg for a report respecting his authority. If he fails to do anything the people will respecting his authority. If he fails to do anything the people will have to depend on the quartermaster's department and private arrangements. The condition of the country, so far as my observations extend, may only be described as intensely quiet, generally. I hear of localities in which there are reported occasional disturbances of the peace, but this poverty-stricken and utterly subjected people are now only anxious for the restoration of authority of whatever description.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, Your obedient servant,
P. JOS. OSTERHAUS,