War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 0975 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

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sort on the citizens. An order was issued requiring all officers coming into town to register their names at the office of the commandant of the post, and another in regard to illegal impressments and requesting the citizens to co-operate with me in restoring law and order in the district. My order book will show the facts above stated, and that whenever the rights or properly of the citizens have been interfered with the offenders, on the production of necessary proof, were in every instances severely punished. I found at first considerable difficulty in procuring sufficient supplies of forage and comissary stores. There were then at this place some 1,400 men, and it was the generall rendezvous for such of Wheeler's cavalry as had been cut off from their command after the evacuation of Atlanta. All of them had to be rationed, so that frequently, instead of issuing only 1,000 rations per day, as stated by the anonymous individual above referred to, from 2,000 to 2,500 were often issued. But I was fortunate in having an energetic officer as commissary, and he rarely failed to procure all that was needful in his department. The writer of the letter goes on to say that I have not left Athens to visit any other part of the district since I came here, and that I have detained in utter idleness a "large number of able-bodied young men belonging to different commands" as ann escort for myself. This is so palpably false that it hardly needs contradiction for about the time the letter was written I started on a tour of inspection through the district, extending my trip as far as Dahlonega. I was gone some ten days, and on my return to Athens made a lengthy report to Major-General Cobb of what I had done and of the condition of affairs in that section and one of my staff officers has just returned from Gainesville, where he had been for some days on official business to keep me advised as to matters at that place and to hurry on the troops in that part of the district to me as rapidly as possible, so that I could forward them to Augusta in obedience to orders from Major-General Cobb.

As to the "large number of able-bodied young men belonging to different commands" which the author of the anonymous communication says I have detained here, and on which much stress is laid, these are the facts; Shortly after the battle of Jonesborough and when Macon was threatened, I was ordered by Major-General Cobb to send immediately to the front all the troops stationed here, except two companies of factory operatives (not in camp), with which I was instructd not to interfere, and also to send every man detailed on provost duty who was fit for service in the field. This left the provost-marshal with scarcely any guard and completely paralyzed him in his efforts to carry out my instructions and to enforce orders in the town of Athens and vicinity. Further than this, it was necessary for me to communicate frequently with the officers commanding the several companies and battalions in the northern part of the district, to send dispatches to Macon by couriers (communication by railroad having been cut off) to arrest stragglers and deserters prowling over the country, and I was left without a single mounted man to perform this necessary service. In view of this state of affairs, I retained one small company (fourteen privates and one officer, Captain W. H. Ratcliffe, since increased by four men who were non-conscripts) of reliable men on whom I could depend in an emergency. This company has been kept constantly engaged in bearing dispatches, in arresting deserters, in guarding prisoners to Augusta (and the books of the provost-marshal will slow that there has hardly been a week for months past that from 20 to 50, and frequently as high as 200 prisoners, have not been forwarded from here to