has been in no way impaired, and we are to-day ready, as we ever have been, to obey your orders, whether they be to retire before a largely outnumbering foe, or to spend our last drops of blood in the fiercest conflict. We feel that in parting with you as our commanding general our loss is irreparable, and that this army and our country loses one of its ablest, most zealous, and patriotic defenders. Our most sincere well wishers will accompany you in your future career, and you carry with you the love, respect, esteem, and confidence of the officers and men of this brigade. We would hail with joy your return to command us.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. H. STEVENS,
Brigadier-General, Provisional Army, C. S.
ATLANTA, July 18, 1864.
General S. COOPER:
Telegraph communication with Montgomery interrupted. A force of the enemy's cavalry, estimated at 3,000, reported moving on Opelika. The enemy in our front concentrating on the right.
MARCUS J. WRIGHT,
ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 168.
Richmond, July 18, 1864.
* * * * * * *
V. General Joseph E. Johnston, C. S. Army, is hereby relieved from the command of the Army and Department of Tennessee, and will turn over the same to General John B. Hood. Provisional Army, C. S.
* * * * * * *
By command of the Secretary of War:
SAML. W. MELTON,
HDQRS. ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Numbers 4.
In the Field, July 18, 1864.
The troops of this command, excepting the brigades and batteries on picket, will without delay be placed in line of battle on the line adopted by the engineers, the left resting for the present near the church on the Atlanta and Marietta road. The engineer officers will indicate the line to division commanders, and also the positions selected for artillery. Loring's division will occupy the right, French's the left, Walthall's the center. The brigades on picket, if forced back by the enemy, will retire to unite with their respective divisions, communicating their movements to the brigades on their right and left, and halting to check the enemy whenever practicable. The formation will be two brigades front and one brigade in reserve in each division. It is not desired that the line be intrenched for the present.
By command of Lieutenant-General Stewart:
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.