HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF TENNESSEE, Missionary Ridge, November 6, 1863.
Lieutenant General J. LONGSTREET:
GENERAL: I have your note of yesterday. You are mistaken in the construction of my remarks about the operations of your cavalry driving the enemy from East Tennessee. Such is not my meaning or my intention. It will take all your force actively and vigorously employed to accomplish that end. In keeping up railroad communication I referred and should have limited my remark to the road from here to Loudon. Beyond that you are not expected to wait or depend on railroad, and to relieve you of all embarrassment on that subject, I will devolve the duty on others to hold your communications to that point, so that you may devote your whole time, attention, and means to the primary object-to get possession of East Tennessee, and in doing so to destroy or capture the enemy if possible.
I am, general, very respectfully,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Dublin, November 6, 1863.
General S. COOPER,
Your telegram received. Questions cannot be answered with entire accuracy just now, owing to movements of troops.
Major-General Ransom's field return for October 31, including troops at Saltville, showed present for duty, 506 officers, 6,096 enlisted men; sick and inefficient, 33 officers, 822 enlisted men; total, 539 officers, 6,918 enlisted men; aggregate, 7,457.
Brigadier-General Echols' and Colonel McCausland's brigades show present for duty, 148 officers, 2,552 enlisted men; absent, 55 officers, 993 enlisted men; aggregate present and absent, 227 officers and 3,885 enlisted men.
Colonel W. L. Jackson's return not in, but he has not more than 1,000 men for duty.
Colonel Ferguson has two regiments of Jenkins' brigade in front of Lewisburg, with 72 officers and 810 enlisted men present for duty; aggregate present and absent, 1,629. Complete returns will be received in a few days.
Fifteenth, Twenty-second, Twenty-ninth, Thirtieth, Thirty-sixth, Forty-fifth, Fifty-first, Sixtieth Regiments; Twenty-third, Twenty-sixth, and Thirtieth Battalions Virginia Infantry; Eighth, Fourteenth, Sixteenth, Seventeenth, Nineteenth, Twentieth, Twenty-first Regiments; Thirty-fourth, Thirty-sixth, Thirty-seventh Battalions Virginia Cavalry; First Tennessee, Fourth Kentucky Regiments of Cavalry, Sixteenth Georgia Battalion Cavalry; fragments of Thomas' Legion; aggregate, 399, under Brigadier General A. E. Jackson.
Reports are made on every variety of blanks, and it will be impossible to fill out the form sent for the department until the brigades are supplied with blanks of the same kind. I send the above message in cipher as directed.