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[356] East Tennessee, if it falls into the hands of the enemy, will give 20,000 recruits to his army. The road is open either to Chattanooga or Kingston. Should he push a column in either direction I have no adequate force to oppose him. The militia will not assemble, and even should they, they are not to be trusted; neither have they arms.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. Kirby Smith, Major-General, Commanding.

headquarters District of East Tennessee, Knoxville, March 23, 1862.
General Leadbetter:
General: I am directed by Major-General Smith to say that you will leave one regiment of your command and a sufficient number of cavalry to act as scouts and couriers to their front, and proceed with as much dispatch as possible with the remainder of your brigade to Kingston, Tenn. Arrived there, you will take possession of all the ferry-boats that can be collected and hold them subject to your orders. It is all-important that the advances to Kingston from Montgomery and Crossville shall be carefully observed and any approach of the enemy immediately reported. You will open and read all dispatches for headquarters that couriers may bring from those directions, afterward forwarding them. Besides the company of cavalry at Kingston (Lieutenant Lotspeich commanding), there is a body of 40 men near Winters' Gap, under Captain Eblen, who is instructed to watch the Montgomery road. These, with the cavalry of your command, will enable you to obtain accurate information of the enemy's movements.

Your attention is called to the inclosed dispatch from Lieutenant Latspeich, commanding, to Colonel Branner.1

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. L. Clay, Assistant Adjutant-General.

headquarters District of East Tennessee, Knoxville, March 23, 1862.
Col. James E. Rains, Cumberland Gap, Tenn.:
Colonel: Your dispatches of yesterday, communicating the advance of the enemy, are received.

The major-general commanding directs me to inform you that he expects you to hold your position to the last extremity. Under the pressing need for troops elsewhere in the district, you must not expect re-enforcements to be sent in the event you require additional force. Your troops are superior to those of the enemy-better than any you may hereafter have-and it will be in the event you repulse the enemy, as he expects you will be able to do, to pursue them as far as may be prudent.

The inclosed orders will take effect as soon as the enemy are repulsed.2

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. L. Clay, Assistant Adjutant-General.

1 No found.

2 Not found.

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E. Kirby Smith (2)
H. L. Clay (2)
James E. Rains (1)
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D. Leadbetter (1)
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Eblen (1)
B. M. Branner (1)
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March 23rd, 1862 AD (2)
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