War of the Rebellion: Serial 058 Page 0789 Chapter XLIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE,

[February 21, 1864?]

President DAVIS:

Your order in regard to cavalry is received. It involves the necessity of withdrawing my army to Bristol. As soon as this is done, the cavalry will be ordered.

J. LONGSTREET,

Lieutenant-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE,

February 21, 1864-10 p. m.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON,

Dalton, Ga.:

The enemy is re-enforcing to a considerable extent from Chattanooga. Can't you make an infantry raid and break up his railroad and get out of his way before he can reach you?

J. LONGSTREET,

Lieutenant-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE,

February 21, 1864-10 p. m.

President DAVIS:

General Johnston telegraphs me that the enemy is rapidly re-enforcing at Knoxville from Chattanooga. My own informations is to the same effect. It appears to be necessary, therefore, that I should withdraw my small force far enough at least to draw him out.

J. LONGSTREET,

Lieutenant-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE,

New Market, Tenn., February 21, 1864.

General R. E. LEE,

Commanding:

GENERAL: The cavalry that I have had is ordered back to General Johnston, except about 1,300 effective men. This makes it necessary that I should withdraw my forces to a point in my rear with less exposed flanks than in my present position, and will take me so far back and leave me so little cavalry, that I can hope to do nothing more than wait for the enemy to turn me out by one flank or the other, and throw me gradually back. It leaves us, too-that is, General Johnston and I-with two armies between us; this army entirely helpless, except the enemy comes up and attacks me in front. The enemy can concentrate both armies upon General Johnston, without the chance of counter move by me against this portion of his line. You will readily see my difficulties, as well as those of General Johnston. Under the circumstances, I can see no great hope of doing more than check the enemy occasionally on this road, unless he is bold enough to come out and attack me. This he will not do, as he can always throw me back by turning by flanks by his superior numbers and excess of cavalry.