from field, are nearly exhausted. I must make requisition on you. Many field guns sent to you are unfit for service. Would it not be best to select such and send them to Augusta for recasting into 12-pounders, light? Do not forget 24-pounder ammunition. The guns are unbanded, old pattern.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Ordnance Department.
HDQRS. DEPT. WESTERN VIRGINIA AND EAST TENNESSEE, Dublin, October 11, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: On the 28th ultimo I indorsed on a letter from Major-General Stuart (referred to me from your office), asking that the Eighth and Fourteenth Regiments Virginia Cavalry, of my command, be assigned to the Army of Northern Virginia, that, in my opinion, no more troops could be permanently detached from my command with safety to this department. This evening I received an order from the Adjutant and Inspector General's Office transferring those regiments to the Army of Northern Virginia.
In consideration of reports received late last night and to-day from East Tennessee, I have telegraphed the Adjutant and Inspector General asking to be permitted to defer sending off the regiments for a day or so, until affairs in East Tennessee are more developed. I expect an answer from the Adjutant and Inspector General before the order for the movement of the regiments could be forwarded. If my request is refused, of course I will promptly forward the order to the colonels commanding the Eighth and Fourteenth Regiments Virginia Cavalry.
I desire, however, to bring prominently to your notice my conviction that no troops can be taken from my present command without serious danger to this department. Heretofore we have held East Tennessee, and a large brigade occupied the counties of Southwest Virginia embraced in the Department of East Tennessee. Now the brigade has been withdrawn from Southwest Virginia, the enemy occupies Cumberland Gap and East Tennessee, and I am very apprehensive that the small force I have in that State has been cut off, or will be driven out.
You will readily see the increased danger to which my department is exposed, and that, so far from withdrawing any troops from it, others should be sent here, if it can be done consistently with the public interest elsewhere.
With great respect, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Dublin, October 11, 1863.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond:
Brigadier-General Williams reported to me late last night that he had been warmly engaged with the enemy all day near Greeneville,