you I take this occasion to say that I differ with him in many of his opinions, for which I expect to present good and sufficient grounds, based upon personal experience and observation with this command as well as in the line of the army. This difference of opinion is chiefly in regard to discipline and organization, matters so important to the succeess of an army as to induce me to make this statement before my report is forwarded that it may be known to the Department. In reply to so much of your letter as refers to the feeling prevailing among our troops with whom I come in contact, I am glad to say that our soldiers are cheerful and in good spirits, looking hopefully for final success. I have heard that desertions occurred among General Hardee's troops after the evacuation of Charleston and while on the march through North Carolina, but this has stopped. Also some desertions occurred among the Reserves of North Carolina on the march from Wilmington to this place. This, too, has been stopped, and I feel that I can safely say that a healthy moral spirit pervades this army. Among the cavalry I know this to be so, and a good proof of it is noticeable in the fact that the Tennessee-Kentucky cavalry left the Coosa River in front of Sherman and marched to Savannah without a single case of desertion, although that at time Hood's march to Tennessee opened to them a passage to their homes. I shall use all possible dispatch to complete my report and forward it to you, and while I forbear to express an opinion relative to Wheeler's cavalry and the depredattions alleged to have been committed by them until I have completed my investigations, I think that it is due to the command to say it is as orderly, well-behaved, and gallant as any cavalry I have ever seen east or west of the Mississippi River. Your request relative to the feeling of the people of Georgia will receive due attention and report.
I am, colonel, respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. E. PORTLOCK, JR.,
Colonel and Assistant Inspector-General.
Near Smithville, N. C., March 27, 1865.
I. Corps commanders will take immediate measures to have badges for the infirmary corps and 'sick tickets" prepared upon models which will be exhibited by the medical director of the army.
II. Foraging parties in the quartermaster's and commissary departments must not be sent west of this place. The country on both sides of the Goldsborough and Weldon Railroad is rich and should now be drawn upon exclusively. Our cavalry is in observation north and west of Goldsborough.
By command of General Johnston:
March 27, 1865.
General J. E. JOHNSTON:
The troops you mention being in Alabama and Mississippi, of Stewart's and Lee's corps, must have been sent there by General Beauregard. Please inquire of him the object.
R. E. LEE.