If you find the fortifications you speak of evacuated you may destroy them with Gholson and Barteau, and any others you may add to them. Send Ferguson at once. I wish you to visit General Lee and myself at Canton on Thursday.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA,
Dublin, January 25, 1864.
General S. COOPER,
Adjt. and Insp. General, C. S. Army, Richmond:
GENERAL: I return to you with this, as directed a letter from Colonel W. Preston Johnston, of the 16th* instant, addressed to you, together with my telegram of the 19th* instant in reply to yours* of the day before. I forward also with this the original charges* against Brigadier General John S. Williams. You will see by your indorsement and mine on those charges that you were mistaken in your indorsement on Colonel Johnston's letter of the 16th instant, in stating that your office was never furnished with the charges against Brigadier-General Williams.
A few days after the charges were sent in to me, I was at General Williams' camp in East Tennessee. His brigade was at the time under orders to move in conjunction with Brigadier General W. E. Jones against the enemy near Rogersville. I told General Williams that the charges were such that I could not set them aside. He asked to be relieved immediately from the command of his brigade, and I relieved him. I could not then order his trial on the charges without manifest injury to the service, because nearly all the witnesses in the case needed on the expedition on the enemy near Rogersville, which resulted so successfully. Before I could without injury to the service order a trial on the charges Lieutenant-General Longstreet assumed command of the troops I had in East Tennessee, embracing two of the officers whom, on account of their rank, I intended to up on the court, and all, or nearly all, of the witnesses in the case. The brigade which Brigadier-General Williams commanded is now under the orders of Lieutenant-General Longstreet.
I am convinced by the written statements of officers-which they express their willingness to testify to before a court-and by conversation with a citizen who was with General Williams at the time specified, that the charges cannot be sustained before any court. I therefore recommend that the charges be dismissed.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS HINDMAN'S CORPS,
Dalton, Ga., January 25, 1864.
In publishing the circular of January 23, from army headquarters, the major-general commanding takes occasion to advise the troops of the corps to re-enlist fairly and squarely, without reserva-