TULLAHOMA, February 11, 1863.
GENERAL: I have just seen a letter to a general officer of this army from an acquaintance of his whose residence is north of the Cumberland, in which it is stated that mules [pack] have been passing out of Kentucky to Nashville since January. The last lot passed last week. The whole number is 3,000. It is further stated that these mules are to be used in an expedition from General Rosecrans' army into East Tennessee, the troops to have neither personal baggage nor wagons, and their subsistence stores to be carried by these pack-mules. Would it not be well to give this information to Brigadier-General Pegram, that he may be on the watch, and near enough to oppose this party or operate on its flank or rear, as the case may be? I hope to see you in Knoxville in two or three days.
Most respectfully, &c.,
J. E. JOHNSTON.
CIRCULAR. HDQRS. HARDEE'S CORPS, ARMY OF TENNESSEE, Tullahoma, Tenn., February 11, 1863.
Brigade commanders will at once arm their brigades with such arms as the corps ordnance officer may be able to provide, the object being to complete the arming of the command. Improved arms will be substituted for these issues as soon as they can be procured.
By command of Lieutenant-General Hardee:
T. B. ROY,
Chief of Staff and Assistant Adjutant-General.
TULLAHOMA, February 12, 1863.
Since writing you on the 3rd, I have seen the whole army. Its appearance is very encouraging, and gives positive evidence of General Bragg's capacity to command. It is well clothed, healthy, and in good spirits. The brigades engaged at Murfreesborough are now stronger than they were on the morning of the battle; mainly by the return of the absentees brought back by the general's vigorous system.
Lieutenant-General Polk informed me, at Shelbyville, where his corps is encamped, that its general officers want confidence in General Bragg, thinking, like himself, that although the general possesses some very high military qualities, he wants some that are essential. On this subject I have distinctly questioned none but the persons mentioned in my former letter. My object has been to ascertain if the confidence of the troops in the ability of the army to beat the enemy is at all impaired. I find no indication that it is less than when you were in its camp. While this feeling exists, and you regard General Bragg as brave and skillful, the fact that some or all of the general officers of the army, and many of the subordinates, think that you might give them a commander with fewer defects, cannot, I think, greatly diminish his value. To me it seems that the operations of this army in Middle Tennessee have been conducted admirably. I can find no record of more effective fighting in modern battles than that of this army in December, evincing skill in the commander and courage in the troops, which fully entitle them to the thanks of the Government.