RICHMOND, July 7, 1864.
General J. E. JOHNSTON:
The announcement that your army has fallen back to the Chattahoochee renders me more apprehensive for the future. That river, if not fordable, should not be immediately in your rear, and if you cross, it will enable the enemy without danger to send a detachment to cut your communications with Alabama, and, in the absence of the troops of that department, to capture the cities, destroy the mines and manufactories, and separate the State by a new line of occupation. At this distance I cannot judge of your condition or the best method of averting calamity. Hopeful of results in Northern Georgia, other places have been stripped to re-enforce your army until we are unable to make further additions, and are dependent on your success. Efforts have been made and are still making to organize the reserves as an auxiliary force for State defense. You well know what progress has been made in Georgia and Alabama.