HEADQUARTERS, Courtland, Ala., November 6, 1863.
Commanding at Columbus, Miss.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 3rd.
I feel satisfied your information in regard to a contemplated raid down the Mobile and Ohio Railroad by the enemy from Corinth is incorrect, based no doubt upon the movement he is making from that point eastward toward Chattanooga.
He has been moving in that direction for some days. Sherman's entire corps is east of Corinth. His first intention was to pass up this valley, repair, and use the Memphis and Charleston Railroad as far as Decatur; in this he has been most successfully foiled by a total destruction of the railroad and the obstinate resistance I gave him. He has abandoned his idea of running the Memphis and Charleston Railroad; has crossed the Tennessee River and is moving rapidly up on the northern side toward Chattanooga.
The wagon train "ordered in readiness" was, I doubt not, for this expedition. I do not, therefore, apprehend any serious intention of a raid down the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. Should any further development of such intention occur, I will do whatever can be done to thwart his design. For the present I am, by order of General Bragg, at Courtland, Ala., watching the enemy, and will cross over if practicable to the north side of the Tennessee. The general will please accept my thanks for the information conveyed, and will please inform me further should anything of importance transpire.
I am, general, your obedient servant,
S. D. LEE,
MERIDIAN, November 6, 1863.
Honorable J. A. CAMPBELL,
Assistant Secretary of War, Richmond:
Your published dispatch of November 3 gives the impression that supplies of the free market had been stopped by me. By reference to the orders of the War Department, you will find that authority in such matters has been taken from me, and that purchase and impressment of provisions are made by officers not under my control, but who act under that of the Secretary of War and Commissary-General.
J. E. JOHNSTON.
HDQRS. BRECKINRIDGE'S DIVISION,
November 6, 1863.
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Captain Cobb having been assigned to duty as acting chief of artillery, Breckinridge's corps, Captain Slocomb will act as chief of artillery of this division, and will be obeyed and respected accordingly.
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By command Brigadier-General Stovall, commanding division:
JNumbers P. C. WHITEHEAD, Jr.,