if we can prevent him from foraging in East Tennessee we will delay his operations so much the longer, as he will not attempt a movement until he gets a sufficient supply of provisions, &c., and is certain that his railroad communication is perfect and free from molestation. This hold be urged upon the department at once, for if we do not gather the supplies in this valley, which are now ready, the enemy will get them. in moving our forces into East Tennessee we could get 1,000 or 1,500 recruits, who are now weak-kneed and would go to the enemy for protection if we are unable to protect them. The troops in the department are of good material, commanded by good and efficient officers, and are well drilled. I think that everything is in raid process for putting them in good order. General Echols, I believe, is fully alive to the responsibilities resting on him, and intends to enforce rigid discipline and see that energy is used in every department of his command. In addition to the troops enumerated above, there are enough of the Reserve Corps to garrison the salt-works and lead-mines and protect the railroads.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
SPECIAL ORDERS, ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, No. 221.
Richmond, Va., September 17, 1864.
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XVI. Major General J. C. Breckinridge, Provisional Army, C. S., will fourth with to the Department of Southwestern Virginia and resume that command, to which he was assigned in Paragraph XXVIII, Special Orders, No. 46, current series.
By command of the Secretary of War:
Petersburg, Va., September 17, 1864.
General J. A. EARLY,
A deserter reports arrival here of Eighth Corps, under General Lew. Wallace. General Wallace is said to be here. Is report correct?
R. E. LEE.
September 17, 1864.
General J. A. EARLY:
GENERAL: I have been very anxious to recall General Anderson with Kershaw's division to me. But a victory at this time over Sheridan would be greatly advantageous to us, and I feared that your corps would be insufficient for the purpose. General Anderson is more necessary her than in the Valley, and I have written to him to return with his staff if circumstances permit, and to direct General Kershaw with his division to report to you for the present. Should you and he decide that Kershaw's division is unnecessary in the Valley I wish it to return