MERIDIAN, May 6, 1865.
Major General A. J. SMITH,
I have the honor to request you will immediately furnish garrison for the town of Demopolis as contemplated in my agreement with Major-General Canby dated 4th instant, of which you have already been advised by that officer. As there are valuable public stores at other points near to Demopolis, and not mentioned in General Canby's telegram to you, I request that you make the force sent sufficiently large to afford detachments for the purpose of guarding the stores at the points referred to. These points will be indicated to officer commanding forces sent to Demopolis. I request that I may be advised of his probable arrival there.
NASHVILLE, May 7, 1865. [Received 2.20 a.m. 8th.]
I forward the following telegrams just received for your information. Telegraphic communication can be opened in a few days with Mobile; also with Montgomery and Selma, if you deem it advisable. I learn from Lieutenant Heywood that General Wilson captured 80,000 bales of cotton in Macon, and then besides as much, if not more, in the hands of citizens. I have directed him, if it becomes necessary to leave Macon before the cotton can be sent off, to leave a responsible officer and a small guard to protect the cotton from robbers and to make the citizens of Macon responsible for its safety.*
GEO. H. THOMAS,
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington City, May 7, 1865-6 p.m.
Bvt. Major General J. H. WILSON,
Commanding, &c., Macon, Ga.:
The telegraphic communication of this day's date,+ forwarded with your sanction from Macon by Joseph E. Brown to the President of the United States, has been considered by him, and he directs that you give to Mr. Brown the following answer, to wit: First. That the collapse in the currency and the great destitution of provisions among the poor of the State of Georgia mentioned in his telegram have been caused by the treason, insurrection, and rebellion against the authority, Constitution, and laws of the United States, incited and carried on for the last four years by Mr. Brown and his confederate rebels and traitors, who are responsible for all the want and destitution now existing in that State. Second. What Mr. Brown calls the result which the fortunes of war have imposed upon the people of Georgia and all the misery, loss, and woe they have suffered are chargeable upon Mr. Brown and his confederate rebels, who usurped the authority of the State and, assuming to act as its Governor and Legislature, waged treasonable war against the United States, and by means of that usurped authority protracted the war to
*See Canby to Thomas, May 4, and Hatch to Thomas, May 6 pp.610,636.
+See 6th, p.630.