would suggest that in collecting saddles for the purpose that the Quartermaster-General be ordered to collect them for General Kirby Smith, and let the horses and mules be got together in General Johnston's name. We could begin to retire from here about the 10th of February, and upon reaching Briston have transportation for Gordonsville ready. Everything should be in readiness for us upon our arrival at Gordonsville or Staunton, so that we should meet with no delay. This should be by the 1st of March, so as to have the full benefit of the bad roads. My position under present circumstances seems to be somewhat precarious. I am just strong enough to tempt the enemy to concentrate against me, and either destroy me or drive me back as far as chooses.
General Johnston cannot aid me, as the enemy can occupy this fortifications about Chattanooga, and send up such forces here as he chooses. We should have the means of communication and cooperation, or we should not allow armies to lie between us.
I remain, general, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
Meridian, January 10, 1864.
Major General D. H. MAURY, Mobile:
Your information, via Havana, of attack received. Just had similar information through President Davis. Will send you all the artillerists available immediately.
MERIDIAN, MISS., January 10, 1864.
President DAVIS, Richmond, Va.:
Dispatch received. Information to same effect received from reliable person via Havana. Am in communication with General Johnston to enable me to meet it. As the pressure is on me rather than him just now, think he should send me assistance.
Meridian, Miss., January 10, 1864.
General J. E. JOHNSTON, Dalton, Ga.:
Your dispatch concerning the contemplated raid from Huntsville is received.
The brigades of Pettus, Moore, Baldwin, and Quarles, as you know, were sent to the Army of Tennessee to meet and emergency; that emergency culminated at Missionary Ridge.
The raid alluded to and a threatened attack on Mobile, now serious, make it necessary for me to have these brigades returned to me, and as the conditional of things in your front for several months to come enables you to spare them, I should be glad to have them as soon as practicable.