DALTON, March 30, 1864.
GENERAL: I have just had the honor to receive your letter of the 24th instant.
On joining this army I determined to organize its artillery without delay. It was then divided into bodies of three companies each; each one assigned to a division, except two, constituting the reserve. I united the two latter under Lieutenant-Colonel Hallonquist, and formed the others into two bodies, one for each corps, under the senior officer, intending to recommend such promotion as the law allows. Lieutenant-General Hardee thought none of the officers who had belonged to his corps competent for higher grades. He has since recommended his senior major, M. Smith, for lieutenant-colonelcy, in which I have joined. I have also recommended for that grade W. C. Preston, the senior major of the army, an excellent officer. It was because of this opinion of one who had served with the officers in question long that I applied for the transfer of Colonel Carter and Lieutenant-Colonel Dearing. In the skirmishing which we had in the latter part of February I was not favorably impressed by the little I saw of our officers (artillery). They exhibited a childish eagerness to discharge their pieces. The only complaint that has reached me came from an officer from the Virginia army, who, after his arrival here, had been promoted to lieutenant-colonelcy over several seniors. Lieutenant-General Hood having brought with him a colonel of artillery, this officer thought himself ill-used.
We may expect active operations at any time. General Shoup has not been heard of, and we have no officer who has ever commanded more than twelve guns; I mean, of course, artillery officers. I beg, therefore, that should His Excellency the President promote the two officers recommended, you will do me the kindness to inform me by telegraph.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSTON,
DALTON, March 30, 1864.
GENERAL: Major W. E. Moore has shown me a letter from the office of the Commissary-General, of which the inclosed is a copy. I respectfully ask if the instructions it contains, especially in the last paragraph and indorsement, are authorized by the Department. You have repeatedly urged me to prepare to advance. Let me again remind you that the country over which my limited authority extends can furnish neither draft animals nor food. The officers of the quartermaster's and subsistence departments, upon whom we depend for food and forage and the means of transporting them, receive their orders from Richmond. We must, therefore, depend on the chiefs of those two departments for the means of crossing the Tennessee and marching to a productive country. We have now field transportation for about 100 rounds of ammunition for small-arms, and food and forage for five days. One hundred and thirty-five wagons have been prepared for the bridge equipage, and 1,000 mules (about 800 of them are for those wagons) are reported on the way from Mississippi. We also expect 300 of our own that have been restored to