War Department should issue such explicit instructions that both of us should know the except of our responsibility, and the proper party placed in position to control all the elements of the defense. As yet I have received no reply to this communication. I presume it will be referred to you for action.
I sent two to the Salt-Works several weeks ago. Yesterday I ordered four more (iron 6-pounders) to General Preston, for use at the Salt-Works. They will leave here to-day or to-morrow. This will leave you two guns disposable for the lead mines Respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
S. B BUCKNER,
PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL.] ABINGDON, August 1, 1863.
C. S. Army, Dublin, Va.:
GENERAL: I have just received your letter, by Lieutenant Adams, and thank you very sincerely for your courtesy and promptitude in lending me the Napoleon guns. I have no definite orders as yet from General Buckner, but your conjecture is correct. The details have not yet been settled and arranged. I suppose I shall hear from Buckner, and that he will come up to this place. The move will be against the enemy on the Sandy, I think, and you can render, in my judgment, material assistance in employing their attention or keeping them from attacking our communications by such a movement as you propose. As soon as the plan is definite determined, I will endeavor to inform you minutely.
I send the Government cipher which you desire, with the key sentence used by General Buckner.
Believe me, very truly, yours.
P. S.-On looking again at your letter, it seems you have the Government cipher, or "signal corps cipher", as it is called, so that I do not send it as stated. We will correspond by it. The key sentence shall be "My Old Kentucky Home." Buckner uses the same.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE,
Knoxville, August 1, 1863.
Brigadier General W. PRESTON, Commanding:
GENERAL: Pressure of business compels me to be brief.
1st. The major-general commanding has determined not to make movement in question for the present, chiefly in consequence of report of Colonel Clay.
2nd. Harness has been ordered to be furnished at once to Captain Jeffress' battery.
3rd. Captain Davidson's battery was reported here to be in excellent condition. The major-general commanding is surprised at learning to the country. The matter has been referred to Major [T. K.] Porter, chief of artillery, and will be remedied as soon as possible.
4th. Horseshoes will be sent at the earliest possible moment.