Jackson, Miss., May 1, 1862.
[General BEAUREGARD :]
SIR: The possession by the enemy of the Mississippi River and internal waters of the State will bring him in contact with the slaves, and affords him great facilities for plunder. It is practicable partially to guard against some of the evils which the extended means of access to persons and property may entail by companies of mounted men. I can easily organize such companies, or rather accept them armed and mounted, for many companies have already offered for this service. These companies will tend to create a sense of security among the people and keep down any disorders among the slaves. It appears that such companies may be organized as Confederate troops, provided they are asked for by the general commanding the department, and I write to obtain your sanction to what appears to be a necessity. I deem it proper to say that the organization of these mounted companies will not interfere with volunteering to fill existing companies, nor retard the filling up of the skeleton regiments. I take the occasion to request that you will give me in express terms power to muster in the recruits (3,000) called for by you, and to appoint persons for that purpose, in order that no difficulties may arise in procuring transportation for them from any point at which they may be found.
JOHN J. PETTUS.
Calling out of mounted companies is approved. None but commissioned officers, C. S. Army, can muster. Name where to send mustering officer.
[10.] G. T. B.