across it just above Fort Henry, and separating our army at bowling Green from that at Columbus, and of destroying the Mobile and Ohio and the Memphis and Charleston Railroads, for it is only 18 miles from the Big Bend of the Tennessee to their junction at Corinth.
The undersigned then determined to make an effort to improve he works on that river, and send 5,000 volunteers, with their own guns, to garrison them. General Pillow, to facilitate the work, appointed General Weakley, our chairman, a volunteer aide-de-camp, and specially charged with him the organization of the force; Mr. William Dickson, quartermaster, and Mr. John T. Abernathy, commissary, for the force to be raised for this purpose. They are gentlemen of large wealth, patriotic, and energetic. And, moreover, General Pillow authorized Colonel Thomas J. Foster to raise a regiment, to be armed with their own guns, for twelve months.
We shall proceed immediately to raise these volunteers. We propose to organize a company of old men, armed, in each county in North alabama, for forty days. our reasons for this are that they are not only in the general better marksmen than the generation now growing up, but the very fact of gray-headed men moving to the field will give an impetus to volunteering which we need just now; and, besides, very many of these old men will have their negro men laboring on the works, and their presence would be satisfactory to themselves and useful in furthering them. The volunteers liable to do military duty will be enrolled for twelve months.
From Columbus we requested the Governor of Alabama to ask to Legislature to pass a law for the purchase and impressment of arms similar to the one enacted in the State of Tennessee, and presume it has been done before this time.
General Pillow has instructed Captain Dixon, military engineer, to make a survey to determine a proper location for a new work.
We hope we may have your approval of these arrangement for the public defense. The bonds of Mr. Dickson, as quartermaster, and Mr. Abernathy, as commissary, will be sent, with sureties worth a very large amount, under this date.
Direct, if you please, the proper bureaus in your Department to write immediately to these officers, with such general or special instructions as may be necessary, for we shall need transportation for men and laborers down Tennessee River, some wagons and horses, some tools for rough work, provisions, medicines, &c., and if we have to await the progress of matters through formal channels we may be delayed in accomplishing the work in which we are engaged. Until we hear from the Department, however, we shall not hesitate to take such steps as we would in our private business.
S. D. WEAKLEY,
JAMES E. SAUNDERS,
Secretary of Committee.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT Numbers 1,
New Orleans, La., November 23, 1861.
General A. SIDNEY JOHNSTON,
Commanding Western Division, Bowling Green, Ky.:
DEAR SIR: I send by steamer Morrison this morning the Thirteenth Louisiana Regiment, Colonel Gibson, over 700 strong, to Columbus.