Brigadier-General LEWIS, Commanding,&c.:
You will please furnish the information desired in the above.
By order of Brigadier-General Bate:
CHAS. C. IVEY,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF NORTH ALABAMA, Tuscumbia, December 30, 1863.
General S. D. LEE:
Your communication from Okolona, dated 27th instant, is just received. I have this moment returned from Iuka, at which point I learned the enemy had returned from Jackson, Tennessee, and that General Forrest had retired from that place, acting upon this information and a letter received from General Ferguson, dated the 24th instant, stating that he was moving toward La Grange and would attack that place on the 28th or 29th instant. The absolute destitution of the country either way from Iuka rendered it impossible for my brigade to stand still. I dispatched General Forrest from Iuka on the 28th, and returned to this point.
In answer to your I can start from here on Tuesday, the 5th proximo, and connect with you in the bend of the river above Hamburg (the only place forage be gotten) on the 7th (Thursday).
I think it of the utmost importance to sustain our troops in West Tennessee, and an exceedingly anxious to be with you on the trip.
Please answer by return courier, and oblige, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. D. RODDEY,
HEADQUARTERS, Russellville, Tennessee, December 31, 1863.
His Excellency President DAVIS, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge your favor of the 26th and to inclose a copy of the telegram alluded to. My allusion to the telegram was made from my recollection of the spirit of it and the impression that it made upon me. In my retained copy of my telegram I did not quote from your dispatch. I hope that I may not have misunderstood your dispatch.
With great respect, I have the honor to be, your most obedient servant,
DALTON, December 31, 1863.
His Excellency the PRESIDENT, Richmond:
As now organized this army requires a lieutenant-general. I recommend Major-General Whiting, believing that he is high in your estimation. I think that the army could be better maneuvered in three corps, and respectfully suggest that modification.
J. E. JOHNSTON.