a quondam friend of ours. I believe we will have to win our independence by our own valor and patient endurance, without aid from foreign powers or domestic broils among our enemies. Any late papers will be most acceptable.
Most respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
JNO. A. WHARTON,
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE, Richmond, Va., March 17, 1863.
Major General D. S. DONELSON,
Commanding Department of East Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn.:
GENERAL: General Marshall, in a letter dated March 3, proposes to make an expedition into Kentucky with his command, by Pound Gap. He states that he will have 1,500 mounted men ready for the movement in a week, and when he enters the State will be joined by 300 more, waiting his arrival.
[H. A.] Edmundson's battalion has been ordered from Petersburg to join him, which he proposes to organize into a regiment by the addition of companies now with him. These troops, with those he now has, when organized and mounted, as he contemplates, will, as he thinks, amount to 6,000 mounted men. The Ninth Georgia Battalion of Artillery, with their twelve pieces, he proposes to convert into horse artillery, and thus form a mounted brigade.
The above proposition of General Marshall has been favorably considered by the Department, with a view of making a diversion in favor of our operations in Middle Tennessee, and especially for collecting supplies of all kinds which may be found in that region of Kentucky through which the command moves, for the use of our armies; horses, mules, cattle, &c., thus collected, may be driven on the hoof, and the other articles transported, as occasion may be found practicable, in wagons. This will require that position shall be taken covering a line of communication by which these supplies may from time to time be sent to the rear.
Should this plan be executed, it is contemplated to advance a part of Major General Samuel Jones' command, in Southwestern Virginia, toward the Big Sandy, to support General Marshall, and facilitate the delivery of such stock as may be collected, and its distribution for use, to be fattened on the grass lands of Western Virginia. It is hoped that favorable political results may follow this movement, if successfully conducted, and that General Marshall will be able to draw important accessions to our military force. To this end he is authorized to receive, either as individuals or as organized bodies, such men who may tender themselves for service in the Confederate armies.
The line of operations and the duration of General Marshall's absence on this expedition must depend, of course, upon the contingency of the war and the general interests of the service. To secure co-intelligence and unity of action, it will be necessary to establish a line of communication, so that he may report to you regularly, and receive such information, orders, and instructions as may from time to time be sent to him.
You will give him the necessary orders for this movement according
45 R R-VOL XXIII, PT II