in their companies, courts, &c., can be of invaluable service to their companies. As to the order disbanding these companies which I have been at so much labor to organize, I would respectfully refer the major-general commanding in the first place to a copy of a report from my provost-marshal inclosed, stating some of the services rendered by these companies. They are not intended as military organizations in the full sense of that term, by any means, as they are not require to drill; they are not required to go out of their own neighborhoods, except in chase of marauders; they are not required to leave their houses or their schools, except when called on by their officers to defend themselves against thieves, robbers, and guerrillas. My order simply requires each neighborhood to organize themselves for their own safety against thieves, robbers, and cut-throats, and they have done it most efficiently. They have in many instances united with my scouting parties, furnished them guides, accompanied and assisted them against guerrillas. They have frequently, without any assistance from the military, pursued bands of thieves and bushwhackers for days, armed with shotguns and squirrel rifled, fought with them, whipped them, recaptured stolen horses and other property, and have killed, captured, and handed over or driven out these lawless men from their neighborhood. They know their haunts and have broken them up. In short, they have made themselves the open, active enemies of guerrillas, are openly committed against them; and to disband these companies now before the militia are enrolled, organized, and officered would be to throw them into the hands of these exasperated cut-throats. I am very sure that the major-general commanding does not desire to occasion such a calamity to the people of the counties surrounding this post, who have been trying, under my order, to restore law and order and protect themselves. There being no civil officers of law in force on any of the counties named in my order except Bedford, the disbanding of the companies would be a calamity, for the loss of the company courts of nothing else, as by these courts the people are enabled to settle all neighborhood difficulties and save the military a world of trouble, as we were formerly troubled by hundreds of complaints that are now settled by the company courts. I therefore respectfully ask that the order disabling the home guards be suspended till the militia are enrolled, organized, and officered and civil law restored. A petition asking this would, if circulated, be almost unanimously signed by the people of the counties named, as I am well assured.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
R. H. MILROY,
Major-General of Volunteers.
HDQRS. FIRST SUB-DISTRICT OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE, OFFICE PROVOST-MARSHAL,
Tullahoma, Tenn., April 7, 1865.
Commanding First Sub-District of Middle Tennessee:
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the organization and operations of the home-guard companies in the counties embraced in your command: In nearly each district of the counties of Coffee, Lincoln, Bedford, Franklin, Marshall, Grundy, Warren, and Cannon, there are from one to two, sometimes three, companies formed. Their workings, as shown by reports and by the great decrease of marauders, guerrillas, and the many small paries of robbers who formerly