in the transportation of cotton, but of provisions for the Army of Virginia, and that they are absolutely necessary for that object.
the chief quartermaster of this army reports that since the middle of January the trains on the road between this point and Atlanta have been run regularly, bringing to us without delay in Atlanta all our stores received at that place.
I have applied to General Beauregard to permit engines and cars of the Macon and Savannah road to be lent to transport forage to us to Atlanta. The transportation or long forage is our greatest difficulty.
One of our quartermasters, who is a railroad engineer, thinks that the performance of this road might be greatly increased by a change of the running schedule of the freight trains, such as to require them to run at night. He says that the trains from Dalton, after reaching Atlanta, remain there thirty-six hours, when twelve would be a sufficient time.
I thank Your Excellency for the intention you express of issuing orders to your troops to assist us in bringing back to the ranks deserted and other absentees. Those orders I doubt not will be very efficacious, and restore many men to their regiments.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSTON.
DALTON, February 10, 1864.
General Johnston has ordered a reconnaissance by Hardee on the Cleveland road, by Cleburne on the Ringgold road, and by Hindman on the route running west over Taylor's Ridge toward Dr. Anderson's. This route leaves the Riggold road between this and Tunnel Hill near Stovall's encampment.
The time is to-morrow morning, each party is a brigade of infantry. The general wishes you to cover the movement of each by your cavalry.
W. W. MACKALL,
Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS HARDEE'S CORPS,
Dalton, Ga., February 10, 1864.
Commanding Walker's Division:
GENERAL: Lieutenant-General Hardee directs that you will detail from your division two brigades, which shall move to-morrow morning (11th instant), provided with two days' rations and the necessary wagons, to red Clay, on the Cleveland road. These brigades will bivouac to-morrow night at that point and return to camp the following day. There will be a cavalry force in front of this detachment, but it is desired that every precaution necessary in the immediate vicinity of an enemy shall be taken, on the march and while at Red Clay.
I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. B. ROY,