MONTGOMERY, ALA., January 29, 1865.
JOSEPH E. BROWN,
Governor of Georgia, Milledgeville, Ga.:
General Beauregard desires that you will use the militia of your State and all other means to secure the return of all deserters and absentees to their commands. The militia can be used profitably on this duty.
GEO. WM. BRENT,
Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.
(Same to Charles Clark, Governor of Mississippi, Macon.)
MERIDIAN, January 29, 1865.
His Excellency CHARLES CLARK,
MY DEAR SIR: Your communication of yesterday, inclosing Major-General Forrest's letter of the 21st instant, reached me at a late hour last night. I am satisfied the only way to make the militia of any substantial use is to call out and turn over to the Confederate service all persons within the ages of conscription and now in militia organizations. Then to organize what is left of the militia, the old men and young, boys, into companies for duty in the counties or districts in which they live. They can thus be made useful as a local police and in apprehending deserters, &c., and at same time be always near enough to their own homes to give the necessary attention to their families and domestic concerns. This plan can be effected in a short time by calling out the militia in its present condition and immediately calling out the conscripts and assigning the others to appropriate local duty in their respective counties as suggested. The custom which has heretofore obtained of calling out the militia for a limited number of days has proven very expensive to the Government, inconvenient to the citizens, and useless to the cause. The plan now suggested will, I think, be cheaper and more convenient and effective and, as the same time, more satisfactory to the militiamen. I will give necessary orders to have forage, &c., issued to the militia whenever you shall advise when and where you will require the supplies. The supply of arms and ammunition now in this department is already insufficient for the demands made upon it by the Confederate troops under my command. Should I have it [in my power to] supply the militia of your State with arms and ammunition I will of course take pleasure in doing so, but at present I see no probability of my possessing that power. The letter addressed to me at Tupelo, to which you refer, has never reached me. I will write, however, to General Brandon on the subject of turning present organizations of State troops over to Confederate States, and will endeavor to have your suggestions adopted.
Inclosed I return you Major-General Forrest's letter, as requested, and am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,