HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE,
Chattanooga, Tenn., September 5, 1863.
Commanding Cavalry Corps:
GENERAL: The general commanding directs that you will, without delay, move with your command into the valley, drive in the enemy's pickets, and assail him so as to develop his designs, strength, and position. This must be done even at the sacrifice of troops. The general expects a rapid movement and prompt report.
I am, general, very respectfully, &c.,
GEORGE WM. BRENT,
DUBLIN DEPOT, VA.,
September 5, 1863.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
Mr. PRESIDENT: In pursuance of your instructions I proceeded to this point, where I arrived yesterday at 2 o'clock. Learning that Major General Sam. Jones was hourly expected, I awaited his arrival. He reached here last night. I telegraphed you in substance the information possessed by General Jones.
Brigadier General A. E. Jackson is at Bristol with about 1,300 men. He was sent back by General Buckner to replace the Sixty-third Virginia Regiments and other troops taken by him from this department, about 450 effective men, besides General Preston's command. General A. E. Jackson was formerly paymaster at Knoxville, and was appointed brigadier-general last spring. He is an East Tennessee and was a citizen of wealth and prominence. I make these statements because you were not fully satisfied what General Jackson it was. I hear that has very complete topographical knowledge of the country, but is a very nervous person under responsibility, although undoubtedly brave and energetic.
General Williams has made requisition for 3,000 cavalry equipments and supplies for the troops he is raising, but I hear he has only about 1,100 effective men, not more than half of them mounted, however. His troops are very irregular, and I am informed that his own proceedings in raising them and mustering them in are improper. Many deserters are said to have joined him. I will look more closely into it when I get there. Since I telegraphed, General Williams himself seems to have gone somewhere and Colonel George B. Crittenden is in command at Glade Spring. General Williams had with him, in addition to above-named force, Colonel Giltner's cavalry regiment, of Brigadier-General Preston's command.
General Jones goes down with me to-day at 2 o'clock to confer with Generals Jackson and Williams (if there),and to direct the movements of troops in accordance with your suggestions. He will disengage all cavalry not needed for scouting in front, and protect Saltville by sending down Colonel McCausland's brigade, composed of Thirty-sixth Virginia Regiment, effective total 640; Sixtieth Virginia Regiment, effective 582; company Bryan Artillery, 88 effectives, 6 guns, 112 horses; four companies detached Eighth Virginia Cavalry, 239 effectives; grand total, 1,549. He will replace McCausland's brigade with Colonel Wharton's brigade, and thinks he can have McCausland at Saltville by Tuesday or Wednesday.