CHATTANOOGA, March 4, 1863. (Received, Richmond, March 4.)
General S. COOPER:
General Pemberton telegraphs to-day scouts report 15,000 troops at Corinth; supposed to be a flank movement against Bragg. Might not the exchanged Arkansas prisoners be sent to General Bragg?
J. E. JOHNSTON.
CHATTANOOGA, March 4, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: Your letter of the 23rd ultimo, with the Commissary-General's indorsement of the 24th, has just been delivered to me by Major Cummings. That officer had Colonel Northrop's orders to endeavor to supply General Bragg's troops by purchasing in Middle Tennessee, but is very far from being confident of success. He is about to obey his orders, however, with the promise from me of all the aid that General Bragg's army can properly give him. He says that in expressing to Colonel Northrop the opinion that Middle Tennessee contained supplies, and sufficient, for General Bragg's army, he referred to the state of things then existing, our army being at Murfreesborough. The most productive portion of the district to which he referred is no longer within our reach, so that he is uncertain if he can procure any valuable quantity of subsistence stores. I write this to the Commissary-General.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSTON,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE,,
Knoxville, March 4, 1863.
Colonel B. S. EWELL,
You will please say to the general commanding that, which a view to a correct understanding of the cavalry expedition on foot, I send General Pegram as the bearer of this. He is ready to start at once. Brigadier General H. Marshall is here, and says that he can start in three days with a cavalry force of from 1,500 to 2,000 men, and begs to be permitted to go in person with it. Shall such permission be given? Though General Jones has intimated to me in a letter that he could not furnish a force to co-operate, yet General Marshall has read to me a letter in which he states he will do so, and thinks much good will result from it, but can name no officer to take command.
D. S. DONELSON,
RICHMOND, March 3, 1863.
General D. S. DONELSON:
I have just sent direct to General Marshall the following dispatch. I did so for expedition. Can you arrange in your command a force, and what, to re-enforce General Bragg? Would you like to lead it?
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.