DALTON, GA., January 22, 1864.
Department Chief Quartermaster:
General Johnston learns that of a consignment of 1,500 shoes lately received you have retained 300 for extra-duty men. The later must wait until the wants of the men in the field are fully met. He directs that you issue the shoes in question to the troops, equalizing the number among the different divisions as nearly as possible, and that you dispose of your future consignments of shoes by issues to the troops in the field until their necessities in this respect are supplied.
By command of General Johnston:
BENJ. S. EWELL,
ENGINEER OFFICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
Mobile, Ala., January 22, 1864.
Colonel G. G. GRANGER,
Chief of Staff:
COLONEL: The undersigned has the honor to report as follows relative to the obstructions proposed to be placed near the confluence of the Alabama and Tombigbee Rivers.
Mere obstructions, however formidable in themselves, can never achieve the object desired unless protected by batteries. Batteries at the point designated could only be built at the expense of an amount of labor which is urgently needed at more important points.
The point designated is by no means an desirable or favorable one for the erection of batteries such as our limited means would allow us to built. The batteries at Choctaw and Oven Bluffs, on the other hand, are already completed; they were remodeled last year under the superintendence of the undersigned and their plan and construction were highly approved by the chief engineer of this department and Major-General Gilmer.
Tombigbee River, near Oven Bluff, can be easily obstructed by a system of sawyers and rafts. If Colonel Weldon is not able to do so, the engineer department, with which the selection of suitable places for the erection of defenses should remain, would see that the obstructions are placed at the earliest moment practicable.
For the present all dispensable hands should be sent to work on the Mobile defenses; all other considerations should remain secondary ones.
I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Chief Engineer.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, January 23, 1864.
Approved and respectfully forwarded.
I think it unadvisable at this time to attempt to place obstructions or defenses below junction of Alabama and Tombigbee. Should it become necessary to do so, the engineer department of the army will be appropriately charged with the work.