faith, if we will send supplies to Rienzi for these prisoners. He guarantees to protect trains, men, and stores, and hopes we will send them without delay. He is also desirous of making arrangements to effect the exchange of men that may now be in the hands of either party, or may hereafter be taken prisoners. In this connection he refers to some arrangements made between Generals Granger and Roddey, and hopes the provisions of this arrangement may be extended to all the troops operating in this theater of operations. Colonel Galloway says General Forrest is also desirous of making an arrangement by which the people in Northern Alabama and Mississippi may be allowed to exchange cotton for necessaries of life. I have made no reply to those propositions, and shall wait for instructions. I am satisfied, however, that the original intention of these flags was to gain information, but may be well enough for me to see General Forrest and ascertain exactly his views, wishes, and intentions. Please send me instructions if authority is given to send clothing to our prisoners, and no further arrangements are necessary. I can start a train almost any day after the clothing has been received. My scouts have just returned from about seventy miles south of here. They confirm original reports. Say all of Hood's infantry has gone [to] South Carolina, but that the country is full of Forrest's men hunting up the absent men from the furloughed Mississippi regiments. A scout through from General Dana says there are no rebels north of Rienzi, and only a small force there. The people do not estimate Forrest's whole force at more than 5,000 men, and only 3,000 of whom reported mounted. Roddey himself is about Moulton with two of his regiments; the balance of his force at Tuscaloosa. The people say the rebels are expecting an attack against Mobile, and that the rebel authorities are doing utmost to reorganize the force in Mississippi and Alabama and put in the field a large number of negro troops. The enrollment is nearly completed, and they expect to have 200,000 under arms in sixty days.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. H. WILSON,
HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Gravelly Springs, Ala., [February] 14, 1865. (Received 16th.)
Brigadier General WILLIAM D. WHIPPLE,
Assistant Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff:
General Forrest is willing and anxious to have us send clothing to out prisoners confined in Mississippi and Alabama. He represents them as suffering and guarantees safe transmittal and delivery of everything sent to them. There are about 7,000 men in all. He also wishes to make an arrangement for the immediate exchange of the prisoners now in their hands, or that may hereafter be taken, and is desirous of allowing the people to send their cotton in to our lines and take out nothing but necessaries of life. I have written your fully. Pease send me instructions by telegraph and if I shall see Forrest in person. He is anxious to meet General Thomas or me at any point that either may designate.
J. H. WILSON,