GREENEVILLE, EAST TENN., March 19, 1864.
General BRAXTON BRAGG, Richard, Va.:
There are three army corps at Morristown. Upon my arrival I gave property orders to go out and try to cut them off from Knoxville. I found afterwards that we had no corn and was obliged to abandon the idea. I fear that our animals will soon be so reduced that we cannot move in any direction, and it is not improbable that they may starve. Please send us corn and meal.
Greeneville, East Ten., March 19, 1864.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: The supply of corn promised us from Virginia comes in so slowly that we shall not be able to keep our animals alive more than week or two, unless some improvement may be made in forwarding supplies. Our rations, too are getting short, so that we will hardy be able to march to any point at which we may be needed unless we can received orders inside of a week, and then we must receive corn by railroad in order that our animals may make a march.
We have suffered more or loss since we have been here in this department for want of proper supplies, but have been able to get along very poorly clad through the winter months, and could, now that the weather is be coming more mild, do very well if we could get food and forage. Without either of these our army must soon become entirely helpless.
The enemy is in front of us at Morristown, with three army corps and could be struck to great advantage were it possible for us to move. The greater part of his force could probably be captured, but animals cannot work without food. The only corn in this country is far our upon our flanks, and is barely sufficient for the cavalry there, and the cavalry is necessary there to prevent its falling into the hands of the enemy.
I beg that you will send us supplies at once, in sufficient quantity at least to enable us to march to some point where out troops can be partially supplied and where they may be useful. These perhaps the troops in the Confederate armies, and should not be left where they starve, and at the same time be of no service to the country.
The enemy is in much poorer fighting condition than he has been since the beginning of the war, and we should have but little difficulty in breaking him if we can be furnished the means of getting at him. I respectfully urge, therefore, than no more time may be lost in making the necessary arrangements for active operations. If our armies can take the initiative in the spring campaign they can march into Kentucky with by little trouble and finish the war in this year. If we delay and give the enemy his full time the war will, in all probability, be prolonged for another four years.
I remain, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,