and uncertainty in establishing rules and modes of proceeding. I see no objection to the last method. The officers the courts are the public agents with whom the people are acquainted. They are familiar with the duties, and have the confidence of the citizens. They are the agents who can most conveniently carry out the will of the commanding general. There can be no question as to the right of the duties necessary for the peace and good order and welfare of the community which it controls. The commander of an invading, occupying, or conquering army rules the invaded, occupied, or conquered country with supreme power, limited only by the laws and customs of war and the orders of the Government he represents. If any local authority continues to exist it will be by his permission only, and with power to do nothing but what he shall see fit to authorize. The judge and officers of these courts should be required to take on oath of allegiance to the Government. If any refuse to do so, let his place be filled by appointment. The code of practice in these courts was the law of Alabama before her attempted secession. It needs only to be changed to meet the present state of affairs and to conform to the laws of Congress and the proclamations of the President. It may become necessary to limit or direct the actions of these courts by orders from the commanding general. This can be done when the necessity shall arise. I would most respectfully urge that an order be issued directing the courts of the city and county of Mobile to be opened, and the judge and officers be required to proceed with the business before them, and to discharge the duties required of them. I inclose the note* of Judge Chamberlain of the city court on the subject, and his memorandum of the title of the courts and names of the officers lately officiating in said courts.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES C. VEATCH,
HDQRS. ARMY AND DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI, Mobile, Ala., May 6, 1865.
Lieutenant General R. TAYLOR, C. S. Army, Meridian:
Be pleased to have the accompanying dispatch for General Smith forwarded at once.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY AND DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI, Mobile, Ala., May 6, 1865.
Major General A. J. SMITH,
Commanding Sixteenth Army Corps, Montgomery:
Send immediately, and on the quickest route, one brigade of infantry, about 2,000 strong, to garrison Columbus and Macon, Miss., and report at once by courier and telegraph to Lieutenant-General Taylor, at Meridian, when the troops can reach the points, and whether you send them [from] Selma or Montgomery. You will also report in full to these headquarters. Keep two other brigades ready to march to Demopolis and Meridian at short notice. Acknowledge receipt of this telegram.
P. JOS. OSTERHAUS,
Chief of Staff.
E. R. S. CANBY,