HEADQUARTERS RESERVE FORCES,
Enterprise, February 16, 1865
COLONEL: Yours of the 13th instant has just been received. In answer to which I would state in the absence of the general commanding that, on the return of the Reserve Forces to his control, he ordered Colonel Denis, commanding First Brigade and stationed at Grenada, to report in person at Enterprise; for the captains of each company to report, with their respective companies, to the enrolling officers of the counties in which the companies were raised. The same orders were given to Lieutenant-Colonel Cox, commanding Second Regiment Reserve Cavalry. The general was induced to resort to this course from the consideration that there was no supporting force for the enrolling officers in any of the counties, which were already teeming with deserters and absentees; and also that many of the men were without necessary clothing, but few having any blankets, and all the horses being in a very low condition, so much so that the command were totally ineffective as soldiers. Colonel Denis' headquarters will be at Enterprise. Lieutenant-Colonel Cox, Second Regiment, will operate in Northwest Mississippi. The last monthly report made to this office (on the 31st of October) of Colonel Denis' brigade shows an aggregate present of 913 men; total present and absent, 1,823. The former number would be by no means an exhibit of those present on the 1st of the present month. The last monthly report by Colonel Morphis, of the Second Regiment, dated 14th of December, Corinth, shows an aggregate present, 221 men; absent and present 813. Of the unattached companies at Meridian, commanded by Captain Berry, aggregate present, 165; absent and present, 351. Your letter will be handed to the general on his return, and the suggestions of Lieutenant-General Taylor will receive his consideration.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. L. BRANDON,
RICHMOND, February 17, 1865.
General R. TAYLOR,
For reasons deemed sufficient by the President it is his desire that Major General Will Martin, now at Jackson, Miss., should be placed in command of the District of East Louisiana and Mississippi, recently commanded by another officer of the same rank. If in your opinion such an assignment will be beneficial to the service, you will at once order it; if otherwise, report by telegraph your views upon the subject of change of commanders for the information of the President.
Adjutant and Inspector General.
MERIDIAN, February 17, 1865.
Colonel GEORGE WILLIAM BRENT,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Augusta, Ga.:
Your telegrams of yesterday received. Cotton matters at Mobile fully attended to long since. Thomas with bulk of his army has landed at Vicksburg and moved out four miles east of there with pontoon train.