appears to be doing any good, and from what I can learnt is probable that with a proper organization he and his company could be made serviceable and reliable. All the others mentioned should be broken up entirely, and I learn from General Taylor that proper steps are being taken in that direction by General Forrest.
Another great evil exists in the organization known as "Bradford's Battalion." Major Bradford, as I understand it, has received authority from the Secretary of war to raise a battalion of scouts by selecting such men as he may choose from any of the organized commands in this department. Whatever good may have been anticipated in granting such authority, the effect, I am satisfied, has been evil and only evil. Men absent from their commands on furloughs and in many instances on special and important duty have been taken and mustered into this battalion without the knowledge of their former commanders, and after having been reported by them absent without leave or deserters for some time the order of transfer has made its appearance. Instances came under my observation during my inspection of Mabry's brigade Complaints of this are frequent,and the effect is to produce demoralization among the several commands. I am further satisfied that this command has not performed the service assigned it when the authority was given, and to this day it would be difficult to discover the benefit that has resulted from its organization. The authority coming directly from the Secretary of War, the department commander hesitates to interfere with the organization. Again, the guards on railroad cars at the various posts and the couriers at some of the headquarters are in too many instances above-bodied men, who have been accustomed to the duties of the soldier and who ought, officers and men, to be in the field. The reorganization of the cavalry in this department will, I am satisfied, operate advantageously to the service. The step was greatly needed, for the frequency and ease with which private individuals have bene able to communicate with the enemy and carry on an illicit traffic along the entire Mississippi front has been a crying evil. Cotton is sent in and goods brought out of the enemy's lines almost daily, with the very natural result of utter demoralization in the communities near the lines and its baleful influences spreading to remoter portions of the State. The department commander, if I known his mind, has it at hear to correct this, and I have no doubt that, with the completion of his present plans, the cavalry will be advantageously employed in the effort to suppress the evil. In conclusion, I deem it right to call attention to the great want of money in this department. It is felt in every branch of the service. The soldiers are not paid, the people hold claims against the Government of long standing, the credit of Government is greatly impaired, and nearly all its officers and agents are crippled in important transactions for want of funds. Supplies may yet be obtained in great quantity for money, but bonds and certificates are not available.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. F. GIRAULT,
Major and Assistant Inspector-General.
MACON, GA., February 24, 1865.
Colonel GEORGE WILLIAM BRENT,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Augusta, Ga.:
General Taylor telegraphs to General Cobb that in view of present contingencies it is important to fortify and garrison Columbus and