War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0685 Chapter XVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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the Tennessee River safe, I answer unhesitatingly that I do not. The work at Fort Henry is as good as we could construct in the time allowed for it and the means at ourhands; but we have received but little assistance from any quarter in the construction of the works on the Mississippi, Tennessee, and Cumberland, except from Tennessee, and in guns. The exigencies of the service of the Confederate Government have induced it to take most of the troops raise din Tennessee and the Mississippi Valey to Virginia. She is not strong enough to sustain unaided the great conflict before us. Our sister State South must come to our support. We will furnish the necessary engineer sot lay off additional works on Tennessee River and superintend their construction and will provide artillery, if Alabama will provide the labor for construction and the troops to garrison the work, and make that river secure against the enemy. But all troops designed for our support must be armed. We can supply them with ammunition and with rifles and shot-guns, and our troops will defend our strongly-fortified positions as effectually as if they had the musket and bayonet, for the bayonet can never be used in entrenched works. If Alabama will furnish the means of constructing these works and the forces to garrison them, with arms, &c., the troops from that State will be placed in them for the purpose of defending them, thus allowing her to hold the keys of the gate-way into her own territory.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

OKOLONO, TENN., November 20, 1861.

Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN,

Secretary of War, &c., Richmond, Va.:

SIR: Permit me to make a light draught upon your time, and ask your attention to a few suggestions in reference to the rebellion of East Tennessee. I am a citizen of Carter County, and have been all my life, except a temporary absence, which I spent in the State of Mississippi. In my judgment there is not a Union man in Carter County who was not involved to some extent in the rebellion. Many of them were drawn into it by wicked leaders, and some have heartily repented, but many others will seek the first favorable opportunity to repeat the experiment. Under these circumstance, what can be done to hold them in check in the future? If a Norther army invades the State at any future day, a majority of our population will undoubtedly tear up the railroad, but the bridges, and destroy the live and property of Southern men. All, however, are not bad men, but the evil-disposed must be removed from our midst or a sufficient force station here to again under any circumstances until the end of the war, or we will all be ruined and the railroad torn up. In this opinion I am not mistaken, and hope and Confederate Government will not be deceived by deceptive professions of loyalty.

If the military commander at this point could have a discretionary power, which would enable him to inquire into the character of the rebels and give certain ones the option to join the Confederate service during the war or be sent on for trial for treason, I have no doubt the ends of justice would be attained and much annoyance to the Government avoided. This, perhaps, would be rather a high-handed movement,