men are very destitute of clothing; many of them have made the entire journey without shoes, and their sufferings will be readily understood when I inform you that in passing from the southern to the northern slope of the Blue Ridge yesterday we experienced a change of 40^ of temperature. My instructions by telegraph from General Wheeler were to report in Southwest Virginia to General Preston. That officer, I understand, is not in the West. I am at a loss to know whom to report to or where. I had the honor on my route to lay before you by letter a request to be allowed to take 1,000 of my brigade and make a raid into Kentucky. It would much encourage the spirits of the men of my command, and I am convinced from my own knowledge of the topography of the State, in connection with theirs, that we could inflict great damage upon the enemy and with comparatively little risk. I earnestly hope you will permit me to do so before being permanently attached to any other command. This would be an admirable point to start from in pursuing the route I should select, and I can easily draw that portion of my brigade now scattered around Abingdon to this point. May I request that you will give me your views in regard to this matter through Major Balfour, who will immediately return?
I am, general, with high respect, your friend and obedient servant,
GEO. B. HODGE,
MORRISTOWN, February 3, 1864.
Please define the limits of this department. Is Abingdon in it?
February 4, 1864.
Paragraph 13, Special Orders, Numbers 26, current series, defines the limit of Department of East Tennessee thus:
The Department of East Tennessee will include, on the east, the counties of Russell, Buchanan, Wise, Scott, Lee, and Washington, in Virginia, and that part of North Carolina west of the Blue Ridge; on the south, the country north of the Little Tennessee River; and on the west, the country east of the Tennessee and Clinch Rivers and Emory's Creek.
This order was mailed on the 1st instant.
SPECIAL ORDERS, ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Richmond, February 4, 1864.
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XIII. Major-General Breckinridge will report in person to this Department for special assignment to command. He is authorized