draw salt meat from Atlanta and fresh beef from Major [J. F.] Cummings, in Northern Georgia. He is salting beef. It would be better to salt the hogs which are eaten fresh here, and issue the beef fresh.
J. E. JOHNSTON,
SUBSISTENCE DEPARTMENT, February 5, 1863.
The army in Virginia is in a critical condition for subsistence, and the supplies referred to at Atlanta and in Northern Georgia are needed for it, and are held for it, and it alone. It is, has always been, believed, and is still believed, by this bureau that the army lately commanded by General Bragg, now by General Johnston, is in a country the resources of which are less exhausted than those tributary to the Army of Virginia. The Army of Virginia in now on short rations. The Army of the West, it is believed, has all along had more allowed it than the order of the War Department of April 18 allows; and the chief commissary of that army has been written to, to report on that subject. If it is compelled to reduce its rations, it will be no worse off than the Army of Northern Virginia. Not a pound of the rations asked for by General Johnston can be spared for his army; and if he is permitted to take it; it will be that much abstracted from an army far more in need of it than his own.
L. B. NORTHROP,
[Commissary-General, C. S. A.]
SPECIAL ORDERS, CHATTANOOGA,
No. 16. February 4, 1863.
Brigadier General D. S. Donelson having been assigned* by Special Orders, No. 14, Paragraph XII, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, to the command of the Department of East Tennessee, will enter immediately upon the discharge of his duties. Brigadier General H. Heth, Now in command, is hereby relieved.
By command of General Johnston:
BENJ. S. EWELL,
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., February 5, 1863.
General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON:
DEAR SIR: I take the liberty of addressing you unofficially. It has pained me to find from several of your telegrams to the President, as well as from intimations occasionally dropped in conversation by our mutual friend, General Wigfall, that you consider your position in your present command somewhat anomalous and unsatisfactory. You seem to consider the several armies within your department too far separated by distance, and too distinct in the aims of their operations, to be wielded as a whole, and that, while nominally controlling all, you can really have command of none, and must stand responsible for the failures, without receiving the credit of the successes, of each. Now, with this view, I can well understand your position to be distasteful and vexatious, but I feel assured it was very far from the intention of the President, as it certainly never has been mine, to regard your command in this light. The department placed under you was too remote to have that
*January 17, 1863.