to it, the command, which is otherwise calculated to render valuable services at a point where they would perhaps be most fruitful in results, is crippled to an extent discouraging both to officers and men. I therefore believe that in soliciting an order for Reynolds' brigade and Williams' battalion to be sent to East Tennessee I am but promoting the best interests of the country. There are other reasons which might be urged in favor of the order solicited, one of which I trust the department will find in the very favorable position which the forces in East Tennessee now occupy in reference to future operations and in the importance of giving to these forces such strength and efficiency as may lead to important successes early in the coming campaign. To this end the order cannot be too promptly given. Indeed, it will no doubt be important to have the order immediately issued and the organization of the division rendered complete. There can certainly be no doubt that the present condition of this division, consisting now of but two brigades and no artillery, calls for immediate action.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. R. JOHNSON,
HEADQUARTERS, January 26, 1864.
The brigade asked for should be sent to its division at once. There can be no doubt but it will do more service here on the flank of the enemy and threatening his rear than in the immediate front; besides, the efficiency of any command is greatly impaired by being broken up; officers and men lose confidence more or less. The artillery is not needed here, there being three battalions now here and Major Dearing's having been asked for, and artillery is probably wanted by General Johnston.
FEBRUARY 5, 1864.
Respectfully referred to General Johnston for his consideration and views, with return of this paper.
Adjutant and Inspector-General.
DALTON, February 15, 1864.
I have only to repeat what I have written more than once-that this army is much too weak for the object for which it is here. This opinion was entertained by my predecessors.
J. E. JOHNSTON,
In consequence of above indorsement, no further action can be taken on this application at this time.