Soldiers of the Army of Tennessee! Let us emulate the deeds of the Army of Virginia. We cannot surpass them. Let us make them proud to call us brothers. Let us make the Cumberland and the Ohio classic as the Rappahannock and the Potomac.
MAY 13, [1863.]
Major General SAMUEL JONES, Dublin Depot:
After consultation with General Maury, I reply that you are the best judge of the necessary disposition of the troops you mention; but in the event of massing troops on a decisive point, I would suggest that all your disposable force be held in readiness for any emergency.
S. B. BUCKNER,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA,
Dublin, May 13, 1863.
Major General S. B. BUCKNER,
Commanding Department of East Tennessee, Knoxville:
GENERAL: The information you gave me of the condition and strength of Marshall's command, or late command, for I hear he has been relieved, is most discouraging. His return for December, 1862, showed total present, 5,351; nd aggregate present and absent, 8,179. Deduct the Twenty-ninth and Fifty-fourth Virginia Infantry and Witcher's battalion of cavalry, which have been detailed from his command, and there are left total present, 3,864; less present and absent, 5,607. What has become of them all? I will send you a copy of Marshall's December return. It may aid you to trace up the command.
Since I have commanded this department I have relied upon Marshall's men to guard at least all of that part of Southwestern Virginia embraced in the Department of East Tennessee, viz, the counties of Lee, Scott, Washington, Russell, Wise, and Buchanan. But if its condition is as represented to you, it cannot be relied on for any service, and I am more than ever convinced that my two regiments and battalion of infantry and two batteries should be retained near the Salt-Works. The enemy knows very well that the destruction of those works would do us infinite mischief, and it is reasonable to suppose they will avail themselves of the first opportunity to strike at them.
I had informed the Secretary of War fully of the conditions of things in my department. It is for him or the President to determine as to the relative importance of retaining my small command where it is or sending it to re-enforce you, and I am awaiting the orders of the Department. There is a fellow-statesman of yours, Brigadier-General [John S.] Williams, at Saltville, in command. He is instructed to organize all the men he possibly can in Eastern Kentucky, and has been provided with some arms, and can get more. He and his friends think he would, if allowed to do so, not only collect all of Marshall's men, but add greatly to their number by new volunteers. I was anxious, and still am, that he should be assigned to that duty, and if you desire to have him, I can very well spare him. I see that one of your brigades (Davis) has resigned, and if you want Williams to replace him, or to collect and organize Marshall's men, I will ask the Secretary of War to order him to you.