ut State divisions, &c., at Missionary Ridge, proved an element of weakness in the battle fought at that place. I need not resort to argument to satisfy you that men will fight better when supported upon the right and left by men with whom they have passed through many hard-fought battles than they will when supported by entire strangers. It is equally true that they will fight better when led by officers whom they have known long and well and followed through hard-fought and victorious fields than when led by strangers. I know that the reorganization has produced much dissatisfaction, and so far as I can see has produced no one good result. I understand that the reorganization was required by an order of the President, which prevents General Johnston from interfering with it Hence I address you alone for the purpose of asking that General Johnston may be permitted to organize the Army of Tennessee in such manner as he may think will best promote the efficiency of the army he commands. From a verbal interview which I had with you when at Richmond, in December, I was satisfied that the Department would not be disposed to control General Johnston in a matter of organization. Being fully impressed with the fact that the Tennessee troops will be much better satisfied, and therefore more efficient, in their old organizations and under their old generals, I venture to urge most earnestly the policy of immediate reorganization so far as practicable. It is proper that I state that this letter is written without the knowledge or consent of General Johnston.
ISHAM G. HARRIS.
An answer is respectfully solicited.
Your obedient servant,
J. D. C. ATKINS,
M. C., Ninth District.
MARCH 22, 1864.
SECRETARY OF WAR:
For file and future reference.
Respectfully submitted for the consideration of the President, whose instructions are solicited.
In the conversation to which reference is had as held with me, I recall only general assurances that the Department felt and would manifest every disposition to sustain and co-operate with General Johnston in his new command.
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE,
Dalton, Ga., January 9, 1864.
All orders from these headquarters forbidding the reception of recruits in the cavalry service of the army are hereby revoked.
By command of General Johnston: