Should the expectations of the propers of the scheme be fully realized, it would be an exchange disadvantageous to this army. I would not give Lewis' brigade of veteran infantry for the 7,000 or 8,000 mounted men it is proposed to raise by abolishing it. It seems to me very unlikely that such a force can be raised. Several attempts have been made on larger scale and under more favorable circumstance. The results of General Bragg's and Brigadier-General Marshall's expeditions into Kentucky are the basis of my opinion. Your opinion that such a measure would produce great dissatisfaction in the infantry generally is certainly correct.
The difficulty of maintaining cavalry makes it very injudicious to attempt to support more than we absolutely require. We ought rather to increase our infantry at the expense of the cavalry than the reserve. The former is excellent and the latter indifferent of its kind. I know no instance in which it has borne a part in a battle.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSON.
Noted with satisfaction.
DALTON, January 6, 1864.
His Excellency President DAVIS:
Captain Harris was not sent by me to confer with the Legislature of the State of Alabama and there is no truth in his statement respecting the destitute condition of the troops.
W. J. HARDEE,
Respectfully forwarded for the information of the Adjutant and Inspector General.
By order of President:
WILLIAM M. BROWNE,
Colonel and Aide-de-Camp.
Meridian, Miss., January 6, 1864.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General:
For convenience' sake it is desirable to have some title by which this department may be designated. I am informed by General Johnston that no title has been assigned it. May I respectfully ask that it may be named? It will be seen by my general order assuming command, * advert tot it as the Department of the Southwest; not that I venture to name it, but the phrase was used as indicating the region in which the department lay. I have thought it proper to say this much in explanation of the phraseology used.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
*Of December 23, 1863. See Special Orders, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, January 28, 1864.