War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 1010 KY., S. W. VA., TENN., N & C. GA., MISS., ALA., & W. FLA.

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hensive lest that report should miscarry, and I deem it prudent not to intrust others to the mail, but hold them until a favorable opportunity presented of forwarding them with some prospect of their reaching you safety. Such an opportunity now offers, and I have the honor to transmit herewith by the hands of Captain S. W. Whitney, of the commissary department, who goes to Richmond as special messenger from department headquarters, the following inspection reports: First, inspection report of purchasing commissary, Third District of Mississippi, Major W. M. Strickland; second, inspection report of post and purchasing commissary, Canton, Captain W. H. Johnson; third, inspection report of Way Hospital, Grenada, Surg. J. W. Frazier; fourth, inspection report of post and purchasing quartermaster. Grenada, Captain B. Mickle; fifth, inspection report of Way Hospital, Canton, Surg. Jas H. Wilson. In my letter of advice accompanying the inspection report of Mabry's brigade I explained that I had not visited East Louisiana because of a dispatch from general Hodge, commanding, to General Martin at jackson, that the enemy was on the advance from Baton Rouge, and that he was moving toward Clinton, La., with his forces to meet them. Knowing that I could accomplish nothing there under such circumstances, I directed my steps northward, with a view to inspect the cavalry in the neighborhood of Grenada and Canton. All that I have been able to accomplish, however, is the inspection of Mabry's brigade and the officers of the posts mentioned. The cavalry has been so constantly on the move and so many changes were being made that I soon discovered that I was losing time in fruitless rides on horseback across the country in search of them. At Grenada General M. J. Wright had just taken command f that sub-district the day before I arrived, and had hardly gotten matters in hand sufficiently to give me any information. I determined, therefore, to return to this place and seek an interview with Lieutenant-General Taylor, although I had conversed with hi upon the subject of my orders previous to going into that section of the State. I learn from general Taylor that he has determined upon a complete reorganization or remodeling of all the cavalry in this military department, and that General Forrest is now occupied with this plan, with his headquarters at West Point, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. I am headquarters at West Point, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. I am further informed that he had now in camp at and near that place organized, equipped, and ready for the field fully 6,000 cavalry, and that this force is being increased by daily additions of stragglers and others returning to their commands. In a few days he thinks he whole will be in good condition for inspection. The troops in East Louisiana are being transferred and others sent to relieve them. I design, therefore, going to West Point to begin my labors, and will forward my reports with as much rapidity as the nature of the duties to be performed will admit. There have been several independent companies of scouts operating in the swamps along the Mississippi front that seem to have been under the control of no one in particular. As at present organized, no inspections can be made of them. They are regular banditti, preying upon friends and foes, and the country people have suffered greatly from their depredations. It is impossible to get at them, except by sending a force to capture them and bring them out of their lurking places in the swamps. Their leaders are Blackburn, Johnson, Montgomery, Norwood, Gillam, and Evans. Gillam's company haunts in the Birg Black Swamp, near Goodman's Station, and east of the Central Railroad. Evans is the only one who