demoralizing on the soldiers generally. They have consequently written me, urging earnestly that no such authorities should be granted by the Department.
Finding, from my limited experience, not only the pernicious effects described, but likewise that such authorities were often abused and rarely successfully exercised, I have accorded with their request, and for the last month or move have issued no authorities whatever. This has been done, too, by the advice and with the approval of the President himself. Under these circumstances, while I do not say that if on reflection the authority you request is still thought advisable it will not be granted, I prefer, for the present at least, to request your serious reconsideration of the matter, with the hope that fuller information may convince your judgment of the in expediency of such power.
JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
March 17, 1864.
General J. LONGSTREET,
Send the Hampton Legion, Colonel Gary, with his transportation, overland via Asheville to Greeneville, S. C., where they will receive further orders. Let it move at once.
Adjutant and Inspector General.
DALTON, March 17, 1864.
Scouts report enemy's main force at Ringgold, and that re-enforcements have come from Knoxville. Please decide in regard to artillery officers. Railroad repaired nearly to Ringgold.
J. E. JOHNSTON.
March 17, 1864.
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: The following is an extract from a letter received from Major E. Taliaferro, ordnance officer at the Confederate States arsenal at Macon, Ga.:
I wish to ask if you cannot assist us at this arsenal by giving us from the army some good workmen who are disabled from field service. We have been much weakened here from time to time by the withdrawal of our operatives, and if that process continues it will eventually cripple our energies to a degree that cannot easily be remedied. We are all the time engaged on work for your army - artillery ammunition, harness accouterments, &c.- and the reports of the last several months will show a large amount of issues to Colonel Oladowski, chief of ordnance. recently Colonel Walter, assistant adjutant-general, was here, and on looking over our lists of detailed soldiers took from us several of our very best mechanics back to their commands. To-day Lieutenant-Colonel Hays, of General Johnston's staff, came to this office on the same business and looked over the lists, but as only two