MERIDIAN, March 16, 1865.
Major General D. H. MAURY,
The lieutenant-general commanding wishes you it impress upon your scouts near Pensacola the great importance of extreme vigilance and activity. Should enemy move from Pensacola to any other base we should get earliest possible information, as General R. E. Lee must be advised from here in time to make suitable dispositions.
W. F. BULLOCK, JR.,
HEADQUARTERS FRENCH'S DIVISION,
Mobile Bay, Ala., March 16, 1865.
Colonel E. SURGET,
COLONEL: I have the honor most respectfully to request the special attention and consideration of the lieutenant-general commanding department to certain Special Orders, Numbers 247, dated Richmond, Va., October 17, 1863, and Numbers 253, dated Richmond, October 24, 1864, issued by the War Department, true copies of which are hereto attached. By the provisions of Special Orders, Numbers 247, "all Missouri soldiers not engaged in active service east of Mississippi River," the men belonging to military organizations west of the Mississippi River, and all Missourians east of the Mississippi River liable to conscription, are ordered to the First Missouri Brigade, and by the terms of Special Orders, Numbers 253, all paroled or exchanged Missouri soldiers are ordered to be forwarded to me, as the commander of that brigade, and I am vested with authority to furlough these men until exchanged. I procured these orders for the purpose of recruiting and filling up the decimated ranks of my brigade and preserving and maintaining intact the separate State identity of the Missouri Brigade east of the Mississippi River, and of bringing into immediate and effective service the Missourians belonging to organizations west of the Mississippi River, who would otherwise attempt to rejoin their commands, and many of whom would in all probability be recaptured by the enemy in attempting this. Since October, 1863, by orders of the then department commander, Lieutenant Colonel R. S. Bevier, of the Missouri Brigade, has been in Richmond for the purpose of receiving and forwarding to the Missouri Brigade all exchanged Missourians. I have information that several hundred Missouri soldiers belonging to organizations west of the Mississippi River have been or very soon will be, exchanged, and I fear that a portion of these will attempt to make their way across the river to their commands. If I can once get them with my brigade and place them in the different regiments with their comrades from the same State, I feel sure I can soon render them satisfied and make them most efficient and reliable soldiers. I am deeply solicitous to fill up the decimated ranks of the First Missouri Brigade, prevent further consolidations of its regiments and companies, and preserve and maintain during this entire struggle its separate State organization and name, of which every Missourian feels most proud. I therefore most urgently request that the lieutenant-general commanding the department will take such measures as will cause all Missouri soldiers, not engaged in active service east of the Mississippi River, and all Missouri soldiers belonging to military organizations west of the Mississippi River, and all liable to conscription, to be sent safely to the