War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 0963 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

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Athens, Ga., January 22, 1865

Major General HOWELL COBB,

Commanding Georgia Reserve:

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that in compliance with your instructions I visited the region of Northeastern Georgia on a tour of inspection. I went as far north as Dahlonega, where, from the reports I had previously received, I expected to find an organized command, under Colonel Findlay. In this, I regret to say, I was disappointed. Colonel Findlay's command, if he has any, is scattered over the country, as if quartered at home, and it would be difficult to collect the men without considerable delay. I have directed Colonel Findlay, in case his command should be required for immediate service to concentrate all his men, and at once obey the order issued from your headquarters to rendezvous at some point in the vicinity of Atlanta, &c. Colonel Findlay claimed to be a brigadier-general, which rank, however, I cannot acknowledge until officially informed thereof from your headquarters. Should he fail to act as directed I would suggest his arrest. I understand that Colonel Ralston has about 500 men in Gilmer County, Colonel Ledger about the same number at Blairsville, Colonel Simmons about 400 in Hall County, and Colonel Baker a force in the upper counties near the railroad. The last-named officer appears to be doing good service, and to be more efficient than the others. Colonel McColumn is at Canton, and reports about 100 men. I regret to say that a large number of men comprising these organizations are within the conscript age and absentees from other commands. I am satisfied that a majority of them have been induced to join these regiments under the promise that they should not be disturbed, and have the privilege of remaining at home. These several commands are mostly unarmed. They should be made to assemble at some point where forage and provisions could be obtained. There they should be organized, disciplined, armed, and drilled, and then suddenly sent to General Hardee or General Lee. By this means we might get a respectable force into the field. They ought not be sent to General Hood, because many of their old friends and neighbors serve in the ranks of Thomas' army, and the facilities and inducements for desertion being greater I have no doubt a majority of them wold either leave or go over to the enemy. I received a letter yesterday from Major Graham informing me that he was marching toward Ducktown with about 400 men. He is acting in obedience to your orders. He will be joined beyond the mountains by Colonel Baker. I think these two efficient and energetic young officers may effect something in the way of obtaining information. I only fear that they may, with their limited force, attempt too much. I have directed the tax-in-kind to be gathered and stored, to be issued on proper requisitions to such troops as may be entitled to receive rations and forage. I have quite a supply at Gainesville in charge of Captain Harrison, who, permit me to say, is one of the most energetic and active officers I have met with in the service. There will be, in a short time, a considerable supply of stores at Dahlonega. Owing to the negligence of the officers charged with the collection of the tax-in-kind I have found in the district a greater quantity of forage and provisions than I expected. My limited authority has prevented me from doing many things which I consider beneficial to the Government. In conclusion I am gratified to say that throughout my tour in Northeastern Georgia