they seem inclined to wait to be conscripted, with the intention of selecting the cavalry service, so we are likely to have nothing but cavalry and artillery. As we have an abundance of both these arms, I hope that some action will be speedily taken which will prevent an increase of either.
Your most obedient servant,
DECEMBER 30, 1863.
Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War.
Early action (and, if need be, early legislation) is deemed essential on the subjects within.
Adjutant and Inspector General.
The laws upon the subject of partisan rangers require revision, and the power to reduce them to the condition of soldiers of the line is necessary under existing circumstances.
SECRETARY OF WAR.
HDQRS. DEPT. WESTERN VIRGINIA AND EAST TENNESSEE, Dublin, December 26, 1863.
Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I am informed that a large portion of the enemy's cavalry, recently in East Tennessee, is now in Kentucky and near the Virginia line. I think it highly probable that they contemplate a raid on the salt-works and lead mines. I therefore respectfully suggest that the infantry and part of the artillery of
Major-General Ransom's command be placed in position to guard those works and this line of railroad. One regiment of Brigadier-General Wharton's brigade is stationed near Saltville. I think it advisable that the other part of the brigade be placed at or near Glade Springs.
To defend this line of road against the raid on Salem, which I apprehended would be much more extensive and destructive than it proved to be, I ordered Major-General Ransom to send his infantry to Bristol, from which point it could have been moved by railroad to the point where their services might have been needed. Ransom referred my order to Lieutenant-General Longstreet, under whose orders he was acting, who declined sending the troops, and informed me that Ransom's command was under his orders, as he, Longstreet, conceived, by authority of the President; hence I can give no orders to that portion of my troops. I therefore make the foregoing suggestion to you for such action as you may think proper.
With great respect, your obedient servant,