You will arrange to send these arms over the river with as much secrecy as possible; most of them will probably be sent across below the Big Black. And I desire that Brig. Gen. Wirt Adams be instructed to give his personal attention to this matter, so as to insure their safe transmittal. This, no doubt, will be most easily arranged by making diversions at points different from those selected to cross. A sufficient guard should, however, always accompany the arms. Arrangements are now being made with General Smith to receive the arms when sent across. You will be notified when this arrangement is perfected. A part of the arms will also be sent across above Vicksburg. To accomplish this, the Texas Brigade, under Colonel Ross, will be sent to the Mississippi River at once, crossing the Yazoo River at some point opposite Lexington. Colonel Ross should make himself familiar with the crossing of the Mississippi, and he will use his judgment as tot eh interfering with the navigation of the river. He will report on his arrival whether he deems it safe for arms to be sent by that route. A section of rifle guns must accompany Colonel Ross.
I am, general, yours, respectfully,
S. D. LEE,
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., December 18, 1863.
General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON:
GENERAL: You have been instructed by the President to proceed to Dalton and take command of the army now under the charge of Lieutenant-General Hardee. You were also informed that you would then receive fuller instructions; such I now aim, on behalf of this Department, to communicate. It is apprehended the army may have been by recent events somewhat disheartened and deprived of ordnance and material. Your presence, it is hoped, will do much to inspire hope and re-establish confidence, and through such influence, as well as by the active exertions you are recommended to make, men who have straggled may be recalled to their standards, and others, roused by the danger to which further successes of the enemy must expose the more southern States, may be encouraged to recruit the ranks of your army.
It is desired that your early and vigorous efforts be directed to restoring the discipline, confidence, and prestige of the army and to increasing its numbers, and that at the same time you leave no means unspared to restore and supply its deficiencies in ordnance, numbers, and transportation. It is feared, also, that, under the grave embarrassments to which the commissariat is exposed (both from the deficiencies of supplies in the country and the impediments which, unfortunately, the discontents of producers and the opposition of State authorities to the system of impressments established by the law of Congress have caused), you may find deficiencies and have serious difficulties in proving the supplies required for the subsistence of the army. You will use all means in you power to obtain supplies from the productive States around you, and strong confidence is entertained that you may be enabled to rouse among the people and authorities a more willing spirit to part with the means