DEFENSES OF MOBILE AND VICINITY, OFFICE CHIEF ENGINEER,
Mobile, Ala., May 1, 1865.
Bvt. Major M. C. MCALESTER,
Chief Engineer, Mil. Div. of West Mississippi, Mobile, Ala.:
MAJOR: I have the honor to report that after three days' effort to procure laborers for work upon the fortifications of this post none are forthcoming, and that therefore some more energetic measures than those herefore taken must be adopted if it be desired that the defenses of the city be speedily completed. I would respectfully recommend, therefore, that na order to the following effect be issued:
1. That all unemployed able bodied men, white or black, applying for Government aid be directed to report at once to the engineer officer charge with the duty of collecting laborers for the engineer department, who will employ them immediately upon the fortifications of the city; and that no rations be issued to them or to their families, except upon the certificate of the engineer officer in charge of the works for the defense of the landings and U. S. property in this city that the man is employed thereon, and then only for the time during which he has actually worked, excepting three days' rations to be issued in advance upon the certificate of said engineer officer that the man's name has been entered upon the engineer rolls for employment.
2. That the provost guard be directed to arrest and turn over to the engineer department for employment as above all unemployed able bodied men, white or black, found loitering about the streets without any visible means of support for themselves and families.
3. The operation of the above paragraphs to cease upon a written statement from the engineer officer in charge of the works for the defense of the landings and U. S. property in this city that a sufficient quantity of labor has ben procured.
Captain of Engineer and Chief Engineer, Defenses of Mobile.
HDQRS. ARMY AND DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI,
Mobile, May 2, 1865.
Respectfully forwarded to Lieutenant Colonel C. T. Christensen, assistant adjutant-general, with my approval and recommend action that the person in charge of contrabands be ordered to turn over all contrabands on his rolls, and which may be placed on them hereafter, till the number of 500 be reached, to Captain M. W. Morton, 36 Saint Michael street, to be place don his rolls for organization as laboring gains and distribution to the different works as per direction of Captain McFarland, chief engineer of defenses. Arrangements are made for issuing rations to such men through the engineer department; if preferable, to issue through the Freedman's Bureau.
M. D. MCALESTER,
Brevet Major and Chief Engineer.
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES NORTHERN ALABAMA,
Montgomery, Ala., May 1, 1865.
Colonel C. T. CHRISTENSEN,
Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. Army and Div. of West Mississippi:
COLONEL: The fleet of transports and one tin-clad arrived here yesterday afternoon. General Smith's command had been out of rations for several days, but found plenty of corn and meat in the country.