informed of the exact condition of the people in this part of the State and represent the case to the proper persons that preparations may be made for the coming winter as well as the time intervening.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
E. F. WINSLOW,
EASTPORT, May 31, 1865
Allow me to call your attention to the importance of a distinctive line of policy being adopted in regard to the negro. On the large plantations of the valley of the Tombigbee many are deserting and living in bands by plunder upon the neighboring plantations. If they can be assured of being paid by the planters, I think they will work for a living; or if assured they can have a fair share of the crops now growing it will prevent much suffering among them this year, and keep them out of idleness. No orders relating to the negro have ever reached us.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE,
Nashville, Tenn., May 31, 1865
Colonel A. A. SMITH,
Commanding Fifth Sub-District of Middle Tennessee:
DEAR COLONEL: By an order just received the troops of 1862 will be mustered out of service. Your regiment will go out under that order. I am unwilling to part with you and your officers and men without expressing my highest commendation of the soldierly bearing and gentlemanly conduct of all during the time they have been under my command. At the time when I most needed brave men and steady soldiers to drive Wheeler and Forrest out of the district, I was but too happy to avail myself of the services of as many of your regiment as could be spared for that duty, and, relying greatly upon them, I was not disappointed in their deportment. I have not been troubled with complaints against them for disorderly conduct and marauding, but their deportment in the army and community has been as exemplary as their conduct in the field has been brave and soldierly, proving that the brave man and the true soldier is always honest and just. For you personally, colonel, and as an officer co-operating with me in the great cause of our country, I have reasons to entertain sentiments of the highest respect and of the most cordial friendship, for I have found you honest and just and capable, always punishing the guilty when it was your duty to do so, and shielding and protecting the defenseless and the innocent. I can truly say I do not know a regiment in the service whose bravery and soldierly bearing more fully entitles it to the respect and gratitude of the country than the Eighty-third Illinois, and you and they will take with you, individually and collectively, my sincere thanks for your efficient, services and my kindest wishes for your future welfare in all things.
I am, colonel, very truly, &c.,
L. H. ROUSSEAU,