infantry between me and Knoxville. I cannot strike mounted men with infantry when and where I wish, as General Lee suggests I should do. If they wish to elude me, as I believe they do just now, they can do it. I have with me 5,000 effective men, 1,600 of them cavalry. If Lee is in great need of re-enforcements, as he informs me, would it not be well to send Corse's and Wharton's brigades to him, leaving our cavalry to hold as much of the country as it can until affairs at Chattanooga are decided? I will not move beyond Jonesborough until I hear from you.
HDQRS. DEPT. WESTERN VIRGINIA AND EAST TENNESSEE, Carter's Depot, Tenn., September 28, 1863-5 p. m.
Brigadier General JOHN S. WILLIAMS,
Commanding Cavalry Brigade:
GENERAL: I am strongly of the opinion that the force in your front is small, and composed of cavalry, mounted infantry, and disloyal East Tennesseeans organizing for the Federal service. If I am correct in this opinion were could not force them to fight us. They can elude us whenever they please, and my infantry cannot overtake them. It is of great importance that I should have correct information on this point. I can only get it from my cavalry. You will therefore press the enemy this evening, ascertain if he is retreating; if so, whether in haste or in good order, and whether he has infantry and artillery. Let me have this information by 10 o'clock to-night, as it is of the first importance. Acknowledge receipt of this.
Very respectfully, &c.,
RICHMOND, September 29, 1863.
General J. E. JOHNSTON:
The War Department has no power to authorize the raising within our lines new companies, unless the men are of non-conscript ages. If Mr. Bingham can raise such company so constituted, he will consider himself authorized to raise it. The only control you have over the purchasing quartermasters of Alabama and Mississippi is to make requisitions upon them, and require reports from them at any time.
Adjutant and Inspector General.
OXFORD, September 29, 1863.
Colonel B. S. EWELL,
Desire Major-General Loring to send a brigade instantly to Canton. Let there be no delay. After this is done, let him place a