HEADQUARTERS HOOD'S CORPS, Dalton, Ga., April 29, 1864.
Generals HINDMAN and STEVENSON:
GENERALS: You will place your command under arms at once. General Stewart is forming line of battle in Mill Creek Gap.
By command of Lieutenant General J. B. Hood, commanding:
J. W. RATCHFORD,
HEADQUARTERS HARDEE'S CORPS, Dalton, Ga., April 29, 1864-8.30 a. m.
GENERAL: Lieutenant-General Hardee directs me to communicate the following note to you, just received from the chief of staff:
The enemy are pressing the cavalry on the Ringgold road with infantry, artillery, and cavalry. General Johnston directs you to hold your corps in easiness for action.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. B. ROY,
DALTON, April 29, 1864.
General JOSEPH E. JOHSNTON:
GENERAL: In compliance with your special instructions, April 8, to "proceed without delay to Richmond and explain to the Commander-in-Chief the matters orally committed to you" (me), I started on the journey immediately and arrived in Richmond on Tuesday, the 12th.
The subject-matter of my instructions is comprised under the following heads:
First. To make it appear that you had not in your correspondence with the Government declined to make an advance; on the contrary, it was and had been your purpose to assume the offensive as soon as your preparations were completed and the promised re-enforcements received; that objections were urged against a specified plan, and were intended to apply to no other; and, further, that you thought it expedient to defer the arrangement of details and the marking of routes until ready to move, because of the varying position and force of the enemy.
Second. That you had been actively engaged in making preparations; that those over which you had control were in a state of forwarders, but that in the essential element of transportation, your need of which had several times been communicated to the Government and which you had no means of collecting, nothing whatever had been done, 1,000 wagons at least being required before the request for artillery horses, as urgent, had not been complied with, though promises had been made that they would soon be furnished.
Third. That the surest means of securing a forward movement was to send the re-enforcements, or a large portion of them, at once,