HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT NO.2, Chattanooga, Tenn., August 24, 1862.
Major General E. KIRBY SMITH,
Commanding Army of East Tennessee:
MY DEAR GENERAL: Last night I received yours of 20th, and fully concur with you in the decision to advance. If Humphrey Marshall comes to time and you get the brigade from Stevenson your move must be successful. My movements are delayed beyond any calculation possible by inefficient officers in charge of the trains and artillery crossing the country. All is not in yet, when I confidently calculated on marching from here on the 20th. It will yet be four days before we can start; but the probability is I shall then advance rapidly in the direction desired by you. Buell has no doubt fallen back from Bridgeport. He is reported to be concentrating a force at McMinnville and fortifying, but I look for him to recede to Nashville before giving us battle. It would afford me great pleasure to spare you General Buckner, but before knowing your wishes I had organized and assigned him a division and cannot now dispense with him. It is hoped General Breckinridge will soon join me with his Kentucky troops; if so, he shall join and compose a part of your army. His name would be of more value even than Buckner's. From the great number of deserters from Buell's army we are confident his troops are greatly disorganized, and the movement backward, which is being made in great haste, is not calculated to improve his condition.
I am, general, very respectfully and truly, yours,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF EAST TENNESSEE, Barboursville, Ky., August 24, 1862.
General BRAXTON BRAGG,
Commanding Department No. 2, Chattanooga, Tenn.:
GENERAL: The inclosed dispatches will inform you that my advance under Colonel Scott, has engaged the enemy near Richmond; at the same time they will apprise you that a force is rapidly accumulating about Lexington to oppose my column. Their manifest policy is to prevent my emerging from the country destitute of supplies and the establishment of myself in the blue-grass region. I shall advance my whole force as rapidly as possible; the head of my infantry column leaves here to-morrow; the rear brigade will probably leave this place on the 29th instant, at which time my communication with East Tennessee will be lost. I shall have with me about 12,000 effective men and with this force I shall fight everything that presents itself, Lexington being the objective point of my operations. Should I succeed in reaching there I shall endeavor to maintain myself in that region at least sufficiently long to test the sentiment of Kentucky. Should they re-enforce me and strike for our cause all will be well; on the contrary, should they fail to do so it cannot be concealed that my position will be a very precarious one and that very soon I shall have to fall back; also if I should meet with a resistance too great to be overcome this side of the Kentucky I shall have to retrograde under circumstances of great difficulty. The country along this route being very poor will be exhausted of supplies, so that if I am compelled to fall back I shall endeavor to maneuver so as to