Cumberland Gap, Tenn., October 22, 1862.
General BRAXTON BRAGG, Commanding, &c.:*
GENERAL: The head of my command has just arrived here. My men have suffered on this march everything excepting actual starvation. There must be not less than 10,000 of them scattered through the country trying to find something upon which to live. Of the provisions left for me at Cumberland Ford all were taken by General Cheatham's command excepting 40 barrels, and all along my route reports reach me of the provisions left for my men being seized by the Army of the Mississippi. Unless some provision is made for me ahead the remaining 6,000 men now left in ranks will also have to scatter through the country to pick up something to eat. I have ordered General McCown's division to take post here. I shall station Generals Heth McCown's division to take post here. I shall station Generals Heth and Stevenson along the line of the Clinch Mountain. I am obliged to take them there to subsist for the present.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE,
Tazewell, Tenn., October 22, 1862.
Major General JOHN P. McCOWN,
Commanding, Cumberland Gap, Tenn.:
GENERAL: The major-general commanding directs that as soon as a sufficient supply of provisions arrive at the Gap you send the cavalry of Smith's Legion, together with the commands of Colonel [H. M.] Ashby and Major Slaughter and a brigade of infantry to Flat Lick. From this point the cavalry will scour the country well to the front, the infantry acting as support.
Lieutenant and Acting Aide-de-Camp.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF KENTUCKY,
Yellow Fork, Tenn., October 23, 1862.
General BRAXTON BRAGG, Commanding, &c., at Knoxville, Tenn.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of yesterday requiring me to leave 3,000 infantry at Cumberland Gap and to concentrate the remainder of my command at Kingston to operate in Middle Tennessee. The condition of my command now is such as to render any immediate operations with it impossible. The men are worn down from exposure and want of food. They are much in want of shoes, clothing, and blankets. There cannot now be more than 6,000 effective men left in my whole force. Having resumed the command of my department I am directly responsible to the government for the condition and safety of my army. As soon as my command can be perfectly fitted out I will take the field with it. I am its present condition it is impossible to move it.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
* See Buell to Halleck, October 16, 1862, and Halleck to Buell, October 19, 1862.