Near Gomo, January 7, 1864. Hon. CHARLES CLARK, Governor of Mississippi: DEAR SIR: I hear of several persons here who profess to have authority from you to raise regiments for service of the State of Mississippi, and they claim the right to enlist conscripts in their com- mand. Col. John R. Dickins, Col. William Nesbitt, and Capt. Williamson Hunt are the parties alluded to. I know Colonel Dickius well, and know him to be a good soldier and most excellent officer, and would be most pleased to see him in command of a regiment if he could obtain it legally; but so long as I am in command here, with the law and orders now before me, I cannot permit any more conscripts to enter the State service; and as I do not wish any misunderstanding or bad feeling to grow up between you and myself, I address you on the subject direct. General Pemberton established a line running through Panola, Oxford, and Fuller, and authorized the enlistment of conscripts into State companies north of that line, to be retained during the term for which the State troops were enlisted, unless sooner called for by Confederate authorities. General Pillow, by order issued September 6, 1863, abolished that line and forbid the enlistment of any more conscripts in any new commands, whether State or Confederate. General Johnston issued an order directing that General Pillows orders should be obeyed in all matters concerning conscripts; and Major-General Lee issued an order some time about September 16, 1863, directing that no addition should be allowed to the rolls of State troops then in service. You are aware that the conscript law does not permit any such enlistments, and I hope, therefore, you will instruct your officers not to enlist any conscripts in their commands, or attempt to do so. Capt. Williamson Hunt imposed upon Governor Pettus with a muster-roll of a company which he never could assemble in camp, and I refused to recognize the little squad that he had as a company, and some of the men entered the Confederate service. Hunt now claims these men under orders from you. I have not seen his orders, but could not allow any such order to be enforced if he has it with- out instructions from the Secretary of War. There are some othem companies hereCaptain Floyd, Captain Perry, and otherswho claim sometimes to belong to Mississippi State service and some- times to one Colonel Collins, authorized by the Secretary of War to raise a regimeiit within the enemys lines. The men and officers all formerly belonged to Colonel Blythes old regiment, the term of service of which, according to the representation of both men and officers, was for twelve months. That term of enlistment has long since expired, and no anthority has ever been granted to them to reenlist in State service. There are some good men among these companies, but the great majority are simply seeking some hiding-place from conscription, and never will do any service as cavalry, or while they remain so close to their liomes, and the best interest of the service requires that they should be conscripted and put in the infantry. You are an old soldier, and I know appreciate the necessity for discipline, and it would require but a few days of personal inspection to satisfy you that these State companies have done more harm than good. I do not include in this remark Colonel MeGuirks regiment that has done good servicebut both lie and his officers have long since been convinced that the regiment would be more effective if it were regularly in Confederate service, where they would be subject to the same courts-martial and the same rules and regulations in all respects as Confederate troops. I am, sir, with sentiments of regard, your obedient servant, JAS. R. CHALMERS, Brigadier-General, Provisional Army, C. S.
[Indorsement.] HEADQUARTERS, Jackson, Miss., January 19, 1864. Respectfully forwarded with the remark that I consider it to the interest of our cause that definite instructions be given the State officers relative to conscripts, as there are many men in North Mississippi liable to conscription and claiming exemption as belonging to State organizations. S.D. LEE, Major- General