HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF EAST TENNESSEE, Barboursville, Ky., August 23, 1862.
Major General JOHN P. McCOWN,
GENERAL: The general commanding does not deem it advisable to throw your forces beyond the ford, but he wishes a strict watch kept on the movements of the enemy and reports to be sent up here from time to time. He directs that you report here with your staff to-morrow. He proposes to send you to Knoxville, to take command of the Department of East Tennessee during his absence. He also wishes you to direct General Cleburne to report here, with the portion of his division that is with him, on the 23rd instant.
Colonel and Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, Tenn., August 23, 1862.
Brigadier General C. L. STEVENSON,
Commanding First Division, Army of East Tennessee:
GENERAL: Your communication of the 23rd instant is received this evening.* In General Smith's dispatch [which was sent me in cipher] he omitted to mention the withdrawal of [M. A.] Stovall's [Third Georgia] battalion from your command. Of the regiments you ask for as re-enforcements, Colonel Talbird's, though ordered here, has not reported, nor has it been heard from since the order directing it to repair to Knoxville was issued. Of Colonel [J. B.] Cooke's [Fifty-ninth Tennessee] regiment, which you supposed here, two companies were sent to Morristown [one for that post and one for the Holston] and directed to report to you; four, with the headquarters, are at Strawberry Plains, one is at Flat Creek, and but three here. Colonel [R. G.] Fain's [Sixty-third Tennessee] is the only entire regiment at this post. Colonel [John B.] Palmer's [Fifty-eighth North Carolina] regiment is divided, one company being at Carter's Depot, two at Zollicoffer, and some at Johnson's Depot. Colonel [S. J.] Smith's Legion has just arrived at Loudon, the last of it, the cavalry, two days since, and I have not yet been able to get a report of its strength. Orders have already been given that every man belonging to any part of your command arriving here should be sent forward as soon as fit for duty.
It has been impossible for the quartermaster to hire teamsters for the large number of wagons now employed in the supply trains, and it has therefore been necessary to detail soldiers for this duty. These details have always been made in a way least liable to impair the efficiency of the regiments, and in no case that I am aware have any effective cavalrymen of your command been selected. Some without horses and not then able to procure them may have been detailed. These teamsters are all employed and are not at this post, which is now stripped completely of transportation, the ammunition train sent yesterday taking nearly the last wagon. The chief quartermaster is with the general in the field. The assistant [Captain McElrath], by the general's directions, leaves to join him with funds to-morrow.
It is important that all the bridges on the railroad have guards, as