HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE,
Knoxville, Tenn., October 5, 1862.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General:
GENERAL: I inclose with this a copy of an order received last night from General Bragg. The general was of course not aware when he issued the order that the Secretary of War had assigned me to the command of this department and ordered me to move my headquarters to this place, and had ordered Major-General McCown to join General E. Kirby Smith in Kentucky. I shall remain on duty here unless otherwise ordered by the War Department. So far from having a force at my command with which to capture Nashville, I have not men enough to occupy and guard the most important points in this department. Cumberland Gap alone, according to the reports of Generals McCown and Stevenson, requires a larger force for its occupation than I have at my command. I have not asked for re-enforcements, only because I believed that all the available re-enforcements were more urgently needed about Richmond and by General Lee's army; but two regiments of infantry were left to me at and near Chattanooga. One of them I have ordered up to Murfreesborough, to which point the cars are now running. A field battery and one squadron of cavalry are ordered to the same place, and a regiment of cavalry (Colonel John T. Morgan's, of Alabama), I ordered to La Vergne to co-operate with a cavalry force which Governor Harris has near Nashville in harassing the enemy. The commanding officer at Murfreesborough I have directed to watch the enemy in Nashville, and if opportunity offers to take that city. I am informed that the enemy has there a force of from 3,000 to 5,000 men strongly fortified. I have regarded the fate of Nashville as dependent on the campaign in Kentucky. If we are successful there, as I trust we shall be, Nashville must I think fall into our hands with little or no opposition. I presume that General Bragg has received before this the letter I wrote him immediately after receiving the secretary's telegram assigning to the command of this department, in which I informed him of the order I had received. Major-General Breckinridge is here with part of his division. I have ordered Colonel Hanson, who has a small brigade of exchanged prisoners just arrived at Chattanooga, to report to him here. The exchanged prisoners will be armed here, to go with General Breckinridge to Kentucky unless otherwise ordered.
I am, very respectfully, &c.,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 2,
No. 130. Bardstown, Ky., September 27, 1862.
I. Major General Samuel Jones is hereby assigned to the command of the District of Middle Tennessee, to include the State of Alabama north of the Tennessee River, establishing his headquarters at or near Murfreesborough, and is charged with all military operations in that country and the forwarding of recruits and conscripts to this army. He will press and capture Nashville.
II. Lieutenant Colonel E. D. Blake, now at Knoxville, will forward conscripts as fast as he can get 200 together; the route by Cumberland Gap to be used.
III. Department of Tennessee, including Chattanooga, to be under Major-General McCown, headquarters at Knoxville.