talion, under Lieutenant-Colonel Stovall, about 400 strong, this whole command is composed of twelve-months' volunteers. I find it in a state of great disorganization, detachments acting separately and independently, and with little or no military restraint.
As soon as I can communicate with and receive reports from these several commands I will report in full for your information.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, March 10, 1862.
The PRESIDENT, Richmond, Va.:
Mr. PRESIDENT: You requested me to write to you freely and frankly; I therefore feel less hesitancy in trespassing upon your time and in troubling you with my wants and necessities.
I arrived on the morning of the 8th, having been detained by obstructions on the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad. I find the force in East Tennessee in great disorganization. All accounts given me were far short of the truth. There has been no one in command since Crittenden crossed the Cumberland Mountains. Leadbetter, from his instructions, regarded himself as only intrusted with the defense of the railroad. Regiments and detachments were everywhere acting independently, and without military restraints of any kind. I shall bring every energy to bear in reducing order out of chaos, but must beg you to hasten the appointment of a brigadier-general who can give me effectual aid. I should have included Lewis A. Armistead in the list recommended for your consideration. If Colonel Barton is not promoted, may he not be assigned to duty on my staff; from his account he seems not to be especially occupied, and he could render here important service as inspector-general.
The troops now in East Tennessee number less than 8,000 effective men; 4,000 are at Cumberland Gap, under Colonel Rains, commanding a Tennessee regiment from Nashville; 2,000 are at this place; the remainder are scattered through the district, guarding bridges, pork establishments, &c. With the exception of the Twentieth and Twenty-third Alabama Regiments, together numbering some 900 effective men, and a Georgia battalion, under Lieutenant-Colonel Stovall, about 400 strong, the whole force is composed of twelve months' volunteers, whose terms of service soon commence expiring.
Of the four regiments from General Bragg's command, two-the Fifth Georgia and Ninth Mississippi-will be mustered out of service early in April and May. The effective strength of the Ninth Mississippi is under 400. Of the six regiments coming from Virginia, one-the First Georgia-was turned back at Lynchburg, and mustered out by expiration of service; one-Colonel Bate's Tennessee-is organizing at Huntsville, by orders from General Johnston, where he will probably retain it. Vaughn's and Maney's regiments are here; the two remaining ones have not arrived.
The troops from Virginia and General Bragg's command will in early summer be reduced to a very small force; and at that time we may look for a movement to be made by the enemy on East Tennessee.
I am not writing, Mr. President, in a spirit of fault-finding; neither