upon Mount Sterling; his force supposed to be from 6,000 to 8,000 with some thirty-six pieces of artillery, but only about 100 cavalry. The commanding general desires you to throw your cavalry well out to the front. They should be instructed to drive in toward you all the stock they find on the route and to obstruct the roads along which the enemy must pass as much as possible, so as to cause all delay possible in Morgan's advance until support can reach you. General Churchill's division will leave Paris to-morrow morning (25th) to join you at Mount Sterling. General Heth receives orders to move from Georgetown by forced marches to your support. General Morgan is moving as rapidly as possible.
I am, general, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE,
Knoxville, September 25, 1862.
Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: I received your telegram of the 23rd in regard to complaints made that the exportation of provisions from East Tennessee is hindered by the military authority, and have suspended the execution of the orders complained of. The orders prohibiting the exportation of provisions from East Tennessee were given, as I am informed, because it was deemed a necessary precaution to prevent this section of country from being drained of provisions to such an extent as to make it difficult, if not impossible, to procure supplies for the army. It is represented to me that provisions of every description are so scare that if is now more necessary than ever to enforce the prohibition on exportation. Whilst the orders were enforced permission was given to export provisions in small quantity and seed wheat on satisfactory assurance that the articles were for the domestic use of the party applying. If all restriction on exportation is removed I apprehend this section of country will hew drained of provisions by speculators and extortioners. Already the country is infested with that class of men, and the numbers will doubtless be greatly increased as soon as it is known that the restriction on exportation is removed. Another evil will certainly result-these speculators are now offering about double the Government price flour and other articles. If the Government requires provisions to be furnished at one-half what speculators are willing to give the dissatisfaction will necessarily be increased. In view of these considerations I must ask authority judiciously to restrict the exportation of provisions. I will exercise the authority with a view single to the interest of the Government, and to prevent imposition on the people, especially the families of soldiers, by extortioners.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. S.- Since writing the above the commissary of subsistence reports that he will not be able to procure subsistence for the few troops now in the department if the exportation of provisions is generally permitted. I trust that you will with as little delay as possible authorize me to exercise my discretion in this matter.