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[265] that you may do me the favor to affix your signature and return it.

Having arrived but two days ago, I have been able to obtain no information, directly, of the enemy's positions and strength; and the principal officers of the army can give me but little. It is believed by them that the army in our front amounts to about eighty thousand men; occupying Chattanooga, now strongly fortified, Bridgeport, and Stevenson. I find the country unfit for military operations, from the effect of heavy rains. Its condition prevents military exercises — a most important means of discipline.

The duties of military administration that you point out to me shall be attended to with diligence. The most difficult of them will be the procuring supplies of food. Foreseeing this before leaving Mississippi, I applied for permission to bring Major W. E. Moore with me, to be chief commissary of the army. The reply of the adjutant and inspector general was, that Major Moore had been collecting supplies in Mississippi so long that it was deemed inexpedient to transfer him. General Cooper was mistaken. Major Moore has not served long in Mississippi, nor collected large supplies there. He made his reputation in this army. Major Dameron directs the purchase and impressment of provisions in Mississippi. So that Major Moore's position is not an important one. Therefore Lieutenant-General Polk, from interest in this army, is anxious that he should be its chief commissary. I therefore most respectfully repeat my application.

This army is now far from being in condition to

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