RICHMOND, March 24, 1864.
General J. E. JOHNSTON:
MY DEAR GENERAL: Your several dispatches recommending the appointment and promotion of artillery officers have been submitted to the President. He has deferred action, except to send General Shoup, an educated and disciplined soldier, senior now and heretofore to those artillery officers who have served so long with the Army of Tennessee.
It is desired that a complete organization be made, and field officers be appoint for all your artillery, and the Department therefore be appointed for all your artillery, and the Department therefore awaits General Pendleton's reports of his inspection and your own recommendation in full.
A tabular report of organization, accompanied by a recommendation for promotions, was made to the Adjutant-General last November, but, I learn on two year's acquittance with the artillery officers o four army. The Adjutant-General informs me it has not been again received at his office.
recently some complains, I learn privately, have been heard from your artillery officers that they were being ever sloughed by their juniors from the Army of Norther Virginia. Lieutenant-Colonel Dearing was junior, for instance, to all the field officers with you until recently promoted in the organization of General Lee's artillery. I should very much fear the effect of such transfer, unless there wa some transcendent or overshadowing ability or achievements to silence all complains.
These are nearly friendly suggestions thrown out, which I hope may aid you in the important and delicate work.
I am, general, most respectfully and truly, yours,
Greeneville, East, Tenn., March 24, 1864.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General:
GENERAL: The order received a few days ago directing that the other two brigades of General Martin's cavalry should return to Georgia so reduces my cavalry forces that it become necessary that I should withdraw my forces to a shorter line than the one we now occupy. The great scarcity of corn for the last ten days has so reduced the horses of the cavalry that will be left that it becomes necessary that they should have rest as well as food. Our present line is so long that the cavalry forces that will remain with us could not supply it which the necessary vedettes, and we could not except to have any cavalry for active work against cavalry. I have selected the line of the Holston as our new line. Our move will be made on the 27th. The cavalry to return to Georgia will start for General Johnston's army on the same day. I have detained these brigades, as their position covers the road to Asheville, N. C., and Greeneville, S. C., by which the Hampton Legion is marching.
I remain, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,