by which I can reach the Mississippi, and place myself in supporting distance of your force. I have great fears, however, that there is a greater difficulty to overcome than the plank road, and that is the Cache bottom on the other side of the Big Black River. This part of the road is represented to me as impassable for cannon or wagons. I have sent a party, who started the day after your first dispatch was received, to examine the entire route. I shall start Lieutenant Shaff to-morrow to examine more especially the Cache bottom. I am particularly anxious to join you, and shall do so with all possible haste. I don't wish to be caught in a bad bottom during the equinox. I judge the route through Bloomfield to Point Pleasant the most practicable, but the farthest.
I have no wish, even if I had time and boats, to transport my command by water. I prefer it should go by land, and if no better route offers I can certainly go by Pocahontas and Ginesville. I hope you will not attempt any forward movement until my arrival.
My wagons are very indifferent, but I have wagons and teams sufficient to take me in either direction.
I am busy getting everything in readiness to move, which I shall commence as soon as the route is open. You may rest assured that I shall lose no time in joining you.
With high respect, your obedient servant,
W. J. HARDEE,
MEMPHIS, September 23, 1861.
General A. S. JOHNSTON:
SIR: Some weeks since Colonel Wm. M. Cooke and myself were sent by Major General Sterling Price, who commands the Missouri Army, to communicate with the Confederate Government at Richmond, and particularly with the President, in relation to our movements, strength, and prospects in Missouri, and to solicit more aid in arms, ammunition, and forces for a full operation against the enemy, &c. We have been to Richmond, and communicated with the President and authorities.
The President assured us that you had plenary powers, and that you would respond to any request to give us strength and efficiency. Permit me to say that your appointment is hailed with unusual approbation by our entire army. The President in a letter, and since by telegraph, informs us that two batteries were ordered to Missouri under our charge, to be sent from this place. In addition to this, we obtained from the State of Virginia, upon the requisition of the Confederate Government, 2 rifle 6-pounder guns, 1 box of flints, 500 fling-lock muskets in 25 boxes, 2 6-pounder carriages, and about half enough harness for the guns.
Our army is in great extremity, and needs these guns and arms very much indeed. Colonel Cooke goes to see you with a full understanding of our wants and with full power to explain our condition and wants to you. You will please give him an early interview, and make such orders as may be necessary to enable us to reach our army in the shortest possible time with the guns and arms above specified. You may be assured that we are engaged heart and oust in the common cause, willing to shed our blood, and if necessary sacrifice our lives, to achieve our independence and to promote the interest of the Southern Confederacy of which we hope in a few months at farthest to form a part. I am yet