here was that I might have an opportunity to strike the re-enforcing column from Cumberland Gap before any of the forces from General Grant's army could get up, and then to operate against the other forces if I found myself in condition to do so. I had hoped to be able to aid General Bragg by drawing forces from General Grant, and by annoying the enemy's communications via Cumberland Gap and distressing him otherwise. I expected to force him to come out to battle, when I hoped to beat him. I am apprehensive, however, that I shall not be able to remain here till we can have railroad communication. We have not had proper allowances of transportation since we left Virginia, and are now so short that we can't haul wheat and flour for the troops to and from the mills. We can make the effort, however. If we can be of as much service here as elsewhere, shall be as active as possible; but cannot expect to do a great deal until we can get railroad communications. We may be able to accomplish more at some other point; if we can, we will most cheerfully accept. There are five brigades of General Bragg's cavalry here. Shall they remain here or go to the army in Georgia?
DALTON, December 8, 1863.
General J. E. JOHNSTON:
The following from General Cooper:
The emergency which caused Baldwin's and Quarles' brigades to be sent to you has not passed. They must [not] be sent back at this time.
W. J. HARDEE,
ENTERPRISE, December 8, 1863.
His Excellency President DAVIS:
I perceive General Bragg has been relieved from the command of the Army of Tennessee. I perceive also through the public press that speculation is very busy as to who will probably succeed him. Rumor has it also that General Hardee has had the command offered to him and that he has declined it.
You will allow me, Mr. President, in the frankness of the intercourse which has characterized our long acquaintance, to say that notwithstanding the difficulties you have in your own mind in regard to the man, and those that exist in mine, I think General Joe Johnston is the person to whom you should offer that command.
As I have said this to you on several occasions before, both in writing and verbally, when my own position could not be affected by it in any wise, so I may repeat it now without the risk of seeming indelicacy. Indeed it would not necessarily follow that General Johnston's appointment to the command of that or any other army would devolve the command he now holds on me, as the Government might place this department, upon the relief of General Johnston, upon any other officer as well as upon myself.
I am moved to make this suggestion to you again, sir, because I think I understand the feeling of the army perhaps better than one could who had not served with it, and because I also understand