HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE,
Knoxville, [Tenn.,] May 17, 1863.
Brigadier General SAMUEL JONES,
Commanding Department of Western Virginia, Dublin:
GENERAL: I have received your letter of the 13th instant. I have made the following general arrangements in this department: One brigade, reduced to about 1,200 men, guards the bridges and does ordinary police duty; the remaining infantry force (about 6,000 effective) are divided into three brigades. This constitutes the entire infantry force in this department, exclusive of Marshall's command (now Preston's). Preston's total force of all arms does not much exceed 2,000, scattered over a large territory. My cavalry amounts to upward of 3,000 effective, but much of it is indifferent cavalry.
From this statement you will perceive how essential is an earnest co-operation between us-a co-operation which you may expect from me, as I feel assured I will receive from you.
The enemy evidently intend an invasion of East Tennessee. It may probably be deferred until the ripening of the wheat crops, but, whenever it is attempted, it will be in heavy force.
After my dispatch to you in reference to General Williams, I learned of General Preston's arrival. It is not likely that the President will make any changes, but there is no necessity of changing the application.
I am, general, very respectfully and truly, yours,
S. B. BUCKNER.
MOBILE, May 18, 1863.
General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding, &c.:
GENERAL: Presuming that the necessities of the Army of Mississippi may force you to look elsewhere for supplies, I make haste to inclose you a tabular statement* of the amount on hand in this district, which has been collected mainly by exchanging sugar for meat. In round numbers, I estimate that there are between 500,000 and 600,000 pounds of self meat and 2,000 or 3,000 head of cattle which could be sent forward on very short notice without seriously interfering with the wants of General Maury's now much-reduced command. In addition to this, there is a vast quantity of flour and rice half here in private hands, which can be made available. I will wait here until I hear from you as to what you made require in the matter of supplies, and can have sent on at a day's notice such as you will require. General Maury manifests a lively desire to render all the aid in his power. He has ordered to be sent forward to Demopolis another steamer, which will increase the facilities of that road to about 2,500 troops per day, or as fast as the West Point road can transport them.
A. D. BANKS,
P. S.-The Government has here in depot about 5,000 barrels of flour and 2,000 tierces of rice. The exchange of sugar for meat, stopped by order of Colonel Northrop, has been resumed, and will go on actively. It is thought a large amount of it can be secured at Montgomery, Demopolis, Selma, and other points. I am co-operating with Major [R. C.] Wintersmith in the matter, and furnishing such aid in the way of suggestion as I can.