I wish to divide this army into three parts. It is now composed of two corps, one of four divisions under Lieutenant-General Hardee, the other of three under Major-General Hindman. I propose to have three corps, one of three divisions under Lieutenant-General Hardee, another of two under Major-General Lovell, and the third of two under Major-General Hindman. This organization will be more convenient in every respect than the present, and the size of the corps more appropriate to the rank of their commanders, and the army could be handled more readily and maneuvered more rapidly. I beg leave to suggest to the War Department that in this difficult and responsible command I have not had such advantages as my predecessor, who assisted in the nomination of many of the principal officers of his army. It is important to me to have near me some officers of high rank whose military qualities I know, as I feel I do those of Major-General Lovell. I therefore respectfully urge my claim to his assistance.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSTON,
DALTON, GA., January 16, 1864.
GENERAL: There are at Atlanta about 200 artillerists, a number of convalescents, and about 1,200 mechanics, organized for defense of the place. The time of the State troops will expire by the 1st proximo. It has been suggested that it would be better for you to make a visit and then learn and report the wants.
By command of General Johnston.
BENJ. S. EWELL,
Milledgeville, January 16, 1864.
General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON:
DEAR SIR: It affords me pleasure to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 5th instant, by which I am informed that you will make an effort to have part of the engines and cars which have been taken from the Western and Atlantic Railroad and lost by the military restored to the road. This would be a great relief and would enable us to transport supplies to your army without further embarrassment.
I have informed the Quartermaster-General at Richmond that it is necessary for him to send to the State road two good engines and trains of cars in place of part of those lost, to enable us to do the necessary carrying for your army. I wish you to insist upon this in your correspondence with him, as it will greatly aid me in procuring the trains.
I have submitted your complaints of want of efficiency in our railroad officers to the superintendent, who is of opinion you are misinformed,