RICHMOND, VA., January 5, 1864.
Russellville, Tennessee, via Bristol:
Your communications of 30th of December and 1st of January with enclosures received.* It is not conceded by authorities here that a commanding general can relieve officers of his command from duty and send them beyond the limits of his command. General McLaws might have been arrested by you on your charges and held to await the action of the War Department, and you had better now recall him for that purpose. He cannot be ordered to another service until thee charges are disposed of. As senior officer in the Department of East Tennessee you are by military rule and usage the commander of that department, with all the rights and privileges pertaining to that command.
Adjutant and Inspector General.
*See Part I, pp.455,467.