I know but little of the condition of our affairs in th ewest, but am inclined to the opinion that our best opportunity for great results is in Tennessee. If we could hold the defensive here with two corps, and send the other to operate in Tennessee with that army, I think that we could accomplish more than by an advance from here.
The enemy seems to have settled down upon the plan of hoding certain points by fortifying and derending, while he concentrates upon others. It seems to me that this must succeed, unless we can concentrate ourselves, and, at the same time make occasional show of active operations at all points. I know of no other means of acting upon that priciple at present, excepting to depend upon our fortifications in Virginia, and concentrate with one corps of this army, and such as may be drawn from others, in Tennessee, and destroy Rosecrans' army. I feel assured that this is practicable, and that greater advantage will be gained that by any operations from here. I remain, general, very respectfully, your mast ovedient servant,
Peterssburg, Va., September 2, 1863.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, C. S. Army:
GENERAL: I respectfully reqwuest that a question of vital importnce to the success of our cause be settled, if it can be done. Ispoke to you in an interview of the difficulties to be appregended next April, when the term of enlistment of our three years' men expires. I do not wish to encumber your offfice with uselesspapers, but I speak knowingly when I say that serious trouble amy be apprehended unless the question of reorganization is settled now before parties for office and change of arms of service are organized, ad while the men are doubrful of their right to reorganize. Such a right, if allowed them, eill be reinous, and as the conscript law does not allow new organizations to be formed till the ord are filled to the maximum I think the law will cover reorganizations, which of course will be new organizations.
An official announcement that old organizations will not be distrubed and the soliers not allowed to change their arm of service, made at this time, would prevent most injurious discussion and demoralization.
I am, general, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
OCTOBER 2, 1863.
Respectfully submitted to Secretary of War.
There would seem to be a necessity for an early decision in cases of this kind in order to settle the question in doubtful minds. My view is that soldiers who engage for three years or the war are liable to serve for the war or three years acording to the determination of the GFovernment.
Adjutant and Inspector General.