at Savannah, or to Colonel G. W. Lee, commanding the post at Atlanta, as the one or the other place may be nearest and most convenient, to be disposed of as the Secretary of War may direct.
I also direct all loyal citizens of this State to report to the officers above mentioned or to the State troops in service the names of all persons, as well officers as privates, suspected to be deserters or to have overstayed the time allowed by their furloughs, and to render to the State officers all the assistance in their power in executing the instructions herein contained and in ridding the State of all deserters or stragglers who disgrace her soil. And I also warn all disloyal citizens to cease to harbor deserters or encourage desertion or to commit further acts of disloyalty or hostility to this State or the Confederate States, as the law against treason will be strictly enforced against all who subject themselves to its penalties. Any person who shall commit any overt act of treason, by taking up arms against this State or the Confederate States, or by adhering to their enemies or giving them aid or comfort, will be arrested and confined in the common jail of the county where the crime is committed, or if the jail is insufficient or there is danger of rescue, in such other jail of this State as the presiding judge of the circuit shall direct. And all persons hereafter encouraging desertion or harboring deserters, or committing other acts of disloyalty, will be arrested and delivered to General Mercer, at Savannah, or Colonel Lee, at Atlanta, to be dealt with as the Confederate authorities may direct under the laws of force; and the Rules and Articles of War.
Given under my hand and the great seal of this State, at the Capitol, in Milledgeville, this 17th day of January, in the year of our Lord 1863.
JOSEPH E. BROWN.
By the Governor:
N. C. BARNETT,
Secretary of State.
HDQRS. BUREAU OF VOLUNTEERS AND CONSCRIPTS,
Fayetteville, January 17, 1863.
Colonel G. W. BRENT,
COLONEL BRENT: I reached here this afternoon and immediately entered upon the duty preparatory to the organization.
I expected to get everything ready for a forward movement by Wednesday morning. My purpose was first to rake Bedford County, in which there are 1,500 men liable to duty under the conscript law. I was anxious to clean out that county by one movement, and doing it at once to avoid giving alarm.
A partial movement over one portion of the county will give the alarm, and cause the conscripts to scatter and hide out.
I find Colonel Avery has only about 40 armed men with guns, and only about 180 sabers and 100 saddles.
There [are] sixty saddles here belonging to Colonel Malone's regiment of cavalry, which I will have turned over to Colonel Avery's command. I find a number of Colonel Morgan's men without horses in camp in the neighborhood of Mulberry, eight miles from this place.
I will use such portions of Morgan's men as have horses suitable for present service, turn over the extra arms in possession of his dismounted men to arm as many of Avery's men as have saddles, and