War of the Rebellion: Serial 011 Page 0357 Chapter XXII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, March 23, 1862.

Colonel JAMES E. RAINS,

Commanding Post, Cumberland Gap, Tenn.:

COLONEL: The major-general commanding directs me to acknowledge the receipt of your last dispatch, and to repeat what is contained in my note of this morning.

He enjoins it upon you to keep your troops as fresh as possible, permitting them to take rest and sleep while the enemy exhausts himself and his artillery. When he comes to the assault, repulse him by a well-directed fire and seize the moment of his repulse to pursue and defeat him.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. L. CLAY,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, March 23, 1862.

Colonel JAMES E. RAINS,

Commanding, &c., Cumberland Gap, Tenn.:

COLONEL: I must impress upon you the necessity of husbanding your ammunition; there is little or none here to supply you with. Do not fire from artillery unnecessarily, and reserve your musketry for close quarters. Keep your men under cover as much as possible. Let them take their blankets with them into the trenches; let them sleep while the enemy exhausts his artillery fire; they will thus be fresh and able to repel the assault when it is made. You have only Carter's brigade opposed to you; they have heard of the movement down Powell's Valley, and expected to have found you weak. When you repulse them an opportunity may offer for striking a vigorous blow, but in doing so keep some of your best troops intact in reserve, to meet any emergency that may arise. You must resist to the last. Trust to your bayonets when the ammunition fails. I have no doubt as to your ability to repel any attack made by the force under General Carter.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. KIRBY SMITH,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Corinth, March 24, 1862.

Major-General POLK:

The following dispatch received from Major-General Crittenden:

IUKA, 24 [March, 1862].

Colonel Looney, in command at Eastport, reports exchanging shots with gunboats of enemy to-day; that they are landing troops from two transports at mouth of Yellow Creek.

BRAXTON BRAGG,

Major-General.