Sixth. All orders of exemption heretofore granted are hereby revoked. Applications for exemptions and discharge must be made to the chief agent of impressment, who alone is empowered to grant such exemptions and discharge, and who will report the same to department headquarters.
Seventh. Contract with the Government from no ground for exceptions except in cases contained in order from the Adjutant and Inspector General's Office at Richmond.
Eight. Impressments now being made by the orders of the chief agents of impressment are not revoked by this order.
The citizens of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana, in which impressments of labor for public service may be required, are cordially and earnestly solicited to furnish such labor as the necessities of the country at this time imperatively demand. Their co-operation with the military authorities in the defense of our common country is confidently relied on from their know patriotism and loyalty.
By command of Lieutenant-General Polk.
T. M. JACK,
DALTON, March 19, 1864.
GENERAL: I have the honor to receive your letter of the 12th from Colonel Sale yesterday, and to make a suggestion by telegraph on the subject to which it relates.
Permit me to suggest that the troops intended for the operations you explain should be assembled in this vicinity. The enemy could, without particular effort, prevent their junction near Kingston by attacking on of our armies with his united forces. His interior positions make it easy. There is another reason. Grant's return to Tennessee indicates that he will retain that command for the present at least. He certainly will not do so to stand of the defensive. I therefore believe that he will advance as soon as he can with the greatest force he can raise. We cannot estimate the time he may require for preparation, and should consequently put ourselves in condition for successful resistance as soon as possible by assembling here the troops you enumerate. I am doing all I can in other preparations, and do not doubt that abundance of ammunition, food, and forage will be collected long before we can be supplied with field transportation., My department is destitute of mules. I must therefore depend on the Quartermaster's Department for them.
It strikes me that we cannot isolate Knoxville in the manner you propose, because we cannot hope to be able to take with us such supplies as would enable us to remain on the line of communication long enough to incommode the forces there. We cannot do so unless we can occupy a position from which we can maintain our own communications and interrupt those of Knoxville. Such a position can only be found near Chattanooga.
The march into Middle Tennessee via Kingston would require all the stores we should be able to transport from Dalton, so that we could not reduce Knoxville en route. Would it not be easier to move into Middle Tennessee through North Alabama? I believe fully, however, that Grant will be ready to act before we can be,