Your line of retreat must in some measure be determined by circumstances, but unless you should be called upon by General A. S. Johnston to re-enforce some command in your advance, the disposition of your forces should be made with a view to the protection of the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad, and a withdrawal by that route if necessary.
Brigadier Generals C. L. Stevenson and S. M. Barton have already been ordered to report to you for duty.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. A. WASHINGTON,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, March 31, 1862.
Brigadier General S. B. MAXEY,
Commanding, &c., Chattanooga, Tenn.:
GENERAL: I am directed by Major General E. Kirby Smith to say that he has telegraphed to Dalton for one unarmed regiment to re-enforce you at Chattanooga. Arms for them will be on their way here before this reaches you.
The Fifth Georgia Regiment has been ordered from this post to your command. If Dowd's (Twenty-fourth Mississippi) regiment from Florida arrived at Chattanooga detain it there. Telegraph General Johnston the condition of affairs. He (General Smith) has sent you all the disposable force.
Arms are on the way from Richmond for all the Georgia regiments at Dalton, and as soon as they arrive will be sent forward.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. F. BELTON,
Lieutenant and Aide-de-Camp.
Abstract from return of the Central Army of Kentucky, General A. S. Johnston commanding, for March 31, 1862.*
Command. For duty. Aggregate present and
First (Hardee's) Division:
Hindman's brigade. 2,360 3,085 4,023
Statham's brigade. 3,079 3,727 5,478
Wood's brigade. 2,508 3,499 5,161
Bowen's brigade. 1,744 2,199 3,029
Reserve (Breckinridge's) 2,691 3,422 4,785
Forrest's cavalry. 679 785 863
15th Arkansas. 279 394 506
Grand total. 13,340 23,069 28,912
*The original is incomplete and unsigned. See also return of General Johnston's command for April 1, p. 382.