General D. W. Adams. He thinks your position a plain one. You report to him as commander of the district in which you are, and as your senior, and obey all orders of his relative to matters of detail and movements of troops, whilst at the same time you obey and carry out the orders from these headquarters upon the subject of the reorganization of the Alabama cavalry. As to drawing your supplies from the chief quartermaster of this command, he directs that you do so whenever General Adams cannot supply your wants. In conclusion, I am directed to say that he expects activity and energy in carrying out the reorganization intrusted to you, and that in doing so you will throw aside all feeling likely to mar the accomplishment of this work, and have an eye only to the good of the service.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. ELLIS, JR.,
WYTHEVILLE, March 21, 1865.
General J. C. BRECKINRIDGE,
Secretary of War:
Please urge General Gorgas to send forthwith ammunition according to my telegram to him. Vaughn reports Thomas and Stoneman at Knoxville with heavy force and advance commenced. I wrote to you last night.
Referred to General Gorgas for early attention.
JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE,
Secretary of War.
Noted and respectfully returned.
RICHMOND, VA., March 22, 1865.
General ROBERT E. LEE,
Commanding, &c., Petersburg, Va.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge yours of the 18th and 21st of March.* I concur with General Taylor as to the importance of holding Mobile, and have considered the garrison there sufficient for its defense against any attack from the Gulf side, the peculiar character of the approaches requiring any force operating from that base to move over a country offering many opportunities for defense, or to make so wide a detour as to expose them to flank attacks, destruction of their trains, necessarily insufficient for a long march, and therefore to probable defeat. Against an army moving from the north the case would be very different; and i suppose your advice was given on the supposition that Thomas, with his army, was about to move through Alabama to attack Mobile in the rear. If, as the latter reports render much more probable, Thomas is moving toward Virginia through East Tennessee, while it simplifies the problem of holding Mobile, it renders
*See Vol. XLVII, Part I, p. 1046.