ers of departments to provide for their commands, and to secure for their forces in the first instance the resources of their departments, should be restricted. It will evidently be more just, as well as judicious, that the supplies afforded by all parts of the Confederacy should be collected into depots, and be then apportioned as the needs of the various armies may require, and furnished on requisitions to the troops.
In furtherance of this plan the orders which have seemed to you as interfering with your just powers of command have been given. They are merely intended to secure harmony of action under a general system and to insure proper responsibility to a central head. The general in command can always require from depot officers returns of their stores of supplies, so as to enable him to judge of the provision made for his army, and can, moreover, as circumstances may require, direct changes of points of depots, &c. It is hoped that not only will greater efficiency be attained, but also many embarrassments and much anxiety be removed from commanders, by the successful operation of the system.
Very truly, yours,
JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS KENTUCKY PARTISANS, Huntington, October 31, 1863.
Brigadier General J. R. CHALMERS:
DEAR SIR: Your dispatch of the 19th came to hand yesterday. I put my companies at work on their muster-rolls immediately, and will start Lieutenant-Colonel Lannom through in a few days with them. I have not less than 400 men in camp for duty, and necessity compels me to keep out several companies on detached service. When I wrote to you last I expected to be ready to start through by this time, but I must make a raid into Kentucky to supply my men with hats, blankets, and boots, before I fall back, and bad weather has checked me twice on the start. I started a few days since determined to go as far as Paducah. Colonel Newsom and Major Franklin were acting under my orders at the time, and had not a miserable bad spell of weather stopped me I could have kept on. I could have taken Paducah without any loss, but they have re-enforced the place. I shall run no unnecessary risks, but I must have one more fight before I leave. I sent about 40 more prisoners across Tennessee River a day or two since Tennessee River is getting full of gun-boats, and I might feel a little uneasy in my present position if they had a sufficient force to send after me. I will be able to organize another regiment in a week's time if recruits come in as rapidly as they have been for the last ten days. I wish it was so I could winter in this country, but situated as we are, with nothing to fall back on, no inducement could be offered for me to stay here.
You sent an order for Captain Bowman to muster the men. He is in prison; was captured as the command came through in August. Please insert Captain Parkinson's name in place of Bowman. He is an old officer and commands a big, fine company in the regiment.
I think, general, when I get through I'll show you as fine a looking set of men and the finest mounted command of cavalry you have seen during the war, and they are men who have been forced out by no Confederate law, but who have come out voluntarily, sac-