engaged at Mouton by Colonel Johnston's cavalry, supposed by the Twenty-seventh Alabama Regiment and my own. They were put to fling and driven to Decatur, to which place I am satisfied they will in future confine themselves, if they do not recross the Tennessee. i shall on to-morrow move my regiment to Russellville, 15 miles west of this. I have kept my command well together, and shall continue to do so. I have never been absent myself, and assure you that I shall stare no effort to accomplish faithfully the objects of my mission here, and to return my command in safety and greatly augment in numbers. I have transmitted to General Withers a duplicate of this. I shall continue to report promptly each week my progress and whereabouts.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. S. IVES,
Colonel, Commanding Thirty-fifth Alabama Regiment.
March 23, 1864.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General:
The great reduction of my cavalry force recently ordered makes it necessary that I should withdraw my troops to a position where I can occupy a much shorter line than I now hold.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE,
Greeneville, Tenn., March 23, 1864.
You note of yesterday is received. Your directions as to the issue of rations are approved. I regret very much that there is any occasion for a reduction of the usual ration, but the great scarcity of breadstuffs, as well as meat, renders it absolutely necessary. I am not yet advised of any arrangement on the part of the Government to send us supplies by rail. The arrangement t=of five brigades in your division was never a permanent organization, but an accident, the original and permanent organization being four brigades. The other brigade was put in the division when one of the old brigades was absent and supposed to be permanently so.
You will see the manifest impropriety of retaining this irregular organization of five brigade in one division, when there is another division of this army of but brigades. I regret very much the loss of the Hampton Legion to one of your finest brigades, but it is the order of the War Department, and we must hope that it will be for the best interests of the service.
I remain, very respectfully and truly, yours,
P. S.-The reduction of your cavalry just ordered by the War Department will make it necessary to withdraw our line to the vicinity of Bristol. Please make your arrangements to march on Sunday for the north side of the Holston. Your division will be in