West Point. He has no troops for the purpose, and has telegraphed General Taylor for more definite information. If necessary am I authorized to stop at Columbus men and officers returning to the army?
J. B. EUSTIS,
MERIDIAN, February 24, 1865.
West Point or Rienzi, Miss.:
Have sent no orders which will conflict with yours to Roddey. Most of Federal prisoner have been sent east from this department. Agree to nothing in this reference till propositions are sent here and the Bureau of Exchange consulted. general Adams reports no immediate prospect of an advance from Vicksburg. General Maury reports from 12,000 to 14,000 troops at Pensacola. It is now very important to know what force the enemy has about Eastport to endanger Prairie Country.
By order of Lieutenant-General Taylor:
W. F. BULLOCK, JR.,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CENTRAL ALABAMA,
Motevallo, February 24 1865.
Major W. F. BULLOCK, JR.,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Meridian, Miss.:
MAJOR: I am in receipt of your telegram of the 22nd instant and of Captain Watt's written communication of the 21st instant, giving me instruction from the lieutenant-general commanding the department to meet contingencies, &c. As I will have no source of information here in the event of General Maury's communication being cut with the eastern portion of his district, please advise or direct him to advise me promptly in such a contingency. In reference to artillery, I can place all you would probably have to spare, or twenty-four additional pieces at least in the fortifications at Demopolis, Selam, and Montgomery. I would like also to have 100 rounds of ammunition to each piece. I send Captain Vance with this under instructions to receive and dispose of the pieces as directed. I wish to cal the attention of the lieutenant-general commanding to the importance of placing some additional force of cavalry and infantry at my command in the present threatening attitude of affairs. The fortifications at Demopolis, Selma,and Montgomery would require at least 2,500 men to man or hold the lines at any one of these places. The three lines of railway in this district cover such an extent that it would require at least 3,000 disciplined cavalry to protect them against ordinary raids. All that I have at present are the two brigades recently reported at Montgomery, and, it seems, only reporting temporarily, amounting to 600 effective for duty, infantry reserves, 400; cavalry reserves, 500; dismounted cavalry, 300. In front of me, not subject to my orders, Brigadier-General Roddey has, I am informed, 600 cavalry, but when or where he will move I am left to conjecture. I have no confidence and place no dependence upon the cavalry or infantry reserves. They are untried troops, in their country, and will fall out and linger about their homes if the enemy advances. Under this state of case you will perceive that I have no reliable fighting force except the two infantry brigades left awaiting orders at Montgomery.