JANUARY 30, 1864.
Respectfully referred to General J. E. Johnston for his consideration and action.
Should General Johnston decide not to take action in the case, he is requested to return this paper to this office with his views thereon.
Adjutant and Inspector-General.
DALTON, February 10, 1864.
A good body of cavalry might do valuable service between this point and Knoxville. I am too weak in that arm to put one there. I do not knox whether General Morgan has a sufficient force for the purpose.
J. E. JOHNSTON,
NEAR NEWTON, N. C.,
Tuesday night, January 26, 1864.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector-General:
GENERAL: I arrived here this evening, and shall continue my march to-morrow through Hillsborough and Jefferson to Abingdon, hoping to reach there at farthest in seven days. I was compelled at Greenville and Spartanburg to send a few men on by rail, some being sick and the horses of 2 or 3 evincing such signs of weakness that I feared they would be dismounted. I desire earnestly to ask permission to make a raid into Kentucky. Should it meet with your approbation, I propose to start secretly with 1,000 men of my command on the best horses, passing through Stone Gap over the mountains as far as Mount Sterling, then down through Fleming, Bracken, and Campbell Counties, to burn the barracks at Newport, the suspension bridge across the Ohio, and the pontoon bridge at Cincinnati, passing back between Paris and Lexington to burn and destroy the bridge over the Kentucky River; then keeping down through Western Tennessee, cross the Tennessee River near Huntsville, and pursue the same route back I have come.
I am convinced, general, this can be done. I am further convinced that 1,000 men can do it more readily than 5,000. Every man with me will be thoroughly acquainted with every road. We shall be in the midst of kinsmen and secret sympathizers, and in a county as yet unvisited by our troops.
I will stake my commission on the success of it, and I think from conversations I have had in the past with His Escellency the President he will approve of it. If it meets with your approbation I should like to start within ten days of my arrival at Abingdon, and ask that you will add to your many other kindnesses to me by replying as soon as possible, that I may know upon my arrival there; of course any communication to reach me must be directed there.
I am, general, very respectfully,
GEORGE B. HODGE,