Couriers who arrived last night bring the intelligence that they are moving in this direction. I have ordered forward to Clinton two Alabama regiments, the Third Regiment Tennessee Volunteers, a battalion of North Carolina Volunteers, a section (two pieces) Third Maryland Artillery, and a portion First East Tennessee Cavalry (an aggregate of 2,000 men), the whole under the command of Colonel D. Leadbetter, who had received such instructions from me as I thought necessary for the exigency.
From what I have learned of the character of the troops from East Tennessee in our service, of their strong Union proclivities, greatly increased by their near relationship to and from intimate association with many citizens who have fled the country and espoused the Federal cause, I am satisfied the capture near Jacksborough was the result of treachery. Pickets detailed from them cannot be relied on, and even officers are not free from suspicion of more fidelity to the Federal than to out service. It is not an individual opinion that some of the regiments from this section are disloyal, but it is the conviction of many of our friends, who know the public sentiment prevailing in those counties in which they were raised and the strong personal ties which would influence them to become so. There is a want among them of that confidence in the loyalty of each other which would make them faithful in the discharge of their duty to their fellow soldiers and to the country, and this is aggravated, too, by the opinion, which exists to some extent, that East Tennessee cannot be defended by the force we have in the field, and must be abandoned upon the advance of the Federal Army.
I cannot, therefore, too strongly urge upon the Department the propriety, if not the necessity,of removing these troops to some other point, where they cannot prove traitors, either by purchase or from love to the Federal Government, and where, if they do not make efficient soldiers, they cannot be tampered with by the enemy. If this be done, and their numerical strength be supplied by troops from other States, I am persuaded it would in every respect be to the advantage of the service.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond.
MARCH 14-17, 1862.-Expedition from Savannah, Tenn., to Yellow Creek, Miss., and occupation of Pittsburg Landing, Tenn.
LIST OF REPORTS
No. 1.-Brig. General William T. Sherman, U. S. Army, commanding expedition, with abstract from "Record of Events" in his division for the month of March, 1862.
No. 2.-Major Elbridge G. Ricker, Fifth Ohio Cavalry, of expedition against Memphis and Charleston Railroad.
No. 3.-Brig. General Daniel Ruggles, C. S. Army, of landing at Pittsburg, Tenn., with orders.
No. 4.-Brig. General James R. Chalmers, C. S. Army, of expedition against Memphis and Charleston Railroad.
No. 5.-Lieutenant. Colonel John A. Jaquess, First Louisiana Infantry, of expedition against Memphis and Charleston Railroad.