DALTON, March 4, 1864.
At the date you give General Thomas was in front of me with all his troops. Our scouts report no movements of Federal troops to the rear, but state that recruits have been arriving at Chattanooga in large numbers.
J. E. JOHNSTON.
ATLANTA, GA., March 4, 1864.
Major A. P. MASON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Dalton, Ga.:
Effective strength of garrison at this place, two companies of artillery and 13 men of another; in all, 135 men. Local troops from our shops, &c., about 500 strong when called out. Many of the local troops failed to re-enlist in February. The troops from the convalescent camps cannot be relied upon, all able for duty having been sent to front. All dismounted men of cavalry sent here have been turned over to General Morgan, as belonging to his command. Forces entirely inadequate to defense of place.
M . H. WRIGHT,
HEADQUARTERS ARMIES CONFEDERATE STATES, Richmond, March 4, 1864.
General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON,
Commanding Army of Tennessee:
GENERAL: In reply to yours of the 27th ultimo,* just received, I hasten to inform you that your inference from the letters of the President and Secretary of War is correct, and you are desired to have all things in readiness at the earliest practicable moment for the movement indicated. It is hoped but little time will be required to prepare the force now under your command, as the season is at hand and the time seems propitious.
Such additional forces will be ordered to you as the exigencies of the service elsewhere will permit, and it is hoped your own efforts will secure many absentees and extra-duty men to the ranks.
The deficient you report in artillery horses seems very large, and is so different from the account given by General Hardee on turning over the command that hopes are entertained there must be some error on your part. Prompt measures should be taken by you, however, to supply the real want, whatever it may be. The part of your letter relating to this and field transportation will be referred to the Quartermaster-General.
Any defect which may exist in the organization of your artillery should be speedily corrected. Whatever action may be necessary here will be promptly taken on your report in detail.
Colonel Alexander, applied for by you as chief of artillery, is deemed necessary by General Lee in his present position. Brigadier General W. N. Pendleton, an experienced officer of artillery, has been
*See Part II, p. 808.