HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE,
Knoxville, May 5, 1862.
Major T. A. WASHINGTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Richmond, Va.:
MAJOR:I have the honor to communicate, for the information of the commanding general, the following intelligence, just received by me:
A gentleman, my confidential agent, returned the 3rd instant from Nashville, whither I had sent him. He states that Bishop Kavanaugh, of Versailles, Ky., informed him that 12,000 troops passed through Lexington, Ky., on the 14th ultimo, to re-enforce those at Cumberland Ford. He also states that four new regiments had been formed of the renegades from East Tennessee, and put under command of General Spears, and that with these the force of the enemy at Cumberland Ford would amount to 18,000 men.
Brig. General H. Marshall writes to me, under date of 2nd instant, that he had heard the force at Lexington en route for Cumberland Ford was to consist of twelve regiments, and would probably be increased to seventeen regiments. He adds, "They say five regiments had left Lexington."
These corroborate the information I have received from Brigadier-General Stevenson at Cumberland Gap and other sources.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Corinth, Miss., May 6, 1862.
Major-General JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE,
Commanding Reserve, Army of the Mississippi:
DEAR GENERAL: I regret to hear of your continued ill-health, but hope you will soon be well enough to meet coming events. Nothing new; all quiet in front.
I wish to inform you that I have somewhat changed the order relative to your division and Van Dorn's army. The latter is to take position in rear of those new works on the right flank, and the former to be located where the other was to have been held in reserve, i.e., one brigade near Corinth, on the Ridge road to Purdy; two not far from my headquarters, on and about the road to Farmington; and another in rear of General Hardee's headquarters, on or about the road from Corinth to the works on the right flank. One of your staff officers could ascertain these exact positions by applying to General Van Dorn or staff.
In case of alarm (one gun from Polk's position, two from Bragg's, or three from Van Dorn's) you will march at once your command to the positions above referred to, without waiting for orders. It would be well to put them (your troops) in position to-morrow or the day after, to let them know their ground.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. T. BEAUREGARD.
P. S.-It would be well also to cause several of your staff officers to ride on the roads to the several commands, especially on the one leading to Polk's line, west of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad.
P. S.-Would it not be well to issue a short address to your troops? I think it would give a good effect.