DALTON, April 9, 1864.
GENERAL: The last mail brought me paragraphs XIII and XIV, Special orders, Numbers 78.*
About one-fourth of Brigadier-General Roddey's troops was left in the "former position." I sent back about half in consequence of your telegram of the 2nd instant, and am retaining the other fourth until the arrival of the Kentucky brigade, which was sent to the rear to put its horses in condition for service.
The necessity of an efficient cavalry as part of this army justifies me in desiring the honorable Secretary of War to consider how much that arm of service in it has been weakened since the last campaign, when it was inferior in strength to that opposed to it, and on the contrary how much that of Lieutenant-General Polk has been increased. In is needless to contrast the enemy's force in his front with that in mine.
On the 28th of February General Polk estimated the cavalry with which he could operate this spring at 15,000. Brigadier-General Roddey has more than 2,000 effective. His transfer leaves an effective force in the Army of Tennessee (cavalry) of a little above 2,000, mounted on horses not in proper condition to commence a campaign. It is true that Major-General Martin's division has returned from East Tennessee, but he describes it reduced from about 3,000 effective to 1,500, 1,120 of whom appear by his requisitions to have lost or thrown away their arms. From the condition of the horses of this division, as described by Major-Generals Wheeler and Martin, it cannot be ready for service before the middle of May. With such a force we must observe a front of near 80 miles and protect the railroad to Atlanta against a cavalry which is estimated by Major-General Wheeler at above 12,000.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSTON,
HEADQUARTERS HOOD'S CORPS,
Numbers 50. Dalton, Ga., April 10, 1864.
Major J. P. Wilson is hereby relieved from duty with this corps at the request of General T. C. Hindman, to whom he will report for duty.
Major J. W. Ratchford, assistant adjutant-general, is hereby assigned to duty as assistant adjutant-general of this corps, to whom all official communications for the lieutenant-general commanding will be addressed.
By command of Lieutenant General J. B. Hood, commanding:
[J. W. RATCHFORD,]
*Cited on p. 738.