should be appointed to command the battalion during its term of service. That indication was expressed in the recommendation of Honorable W. E. Simms, and I concurred, of course, in asking the President to issue the commission to him.
I found 800 men here, acting as a regiment of infantry, badly clothed-indeed, miserably clad-very inexpert in the use of the gun, but brave and good looking. Colonel Williams had detailed Captain May to act as lieutenant-colonel and Captain Hawkins as major. He informed me that he had applied for appointments for them.
I have in a former letter given you the facts touching the force in the Gap. I now inclose a communication from Major Thompson* on that subject, by which the one condition of enlistment will be apparent. The battalion is very excellent in appearance, though it has gone through the measles. I think it had best be kept where it will be more within the conditions of its enlistment, and its officer I cannot commend as very attentive, energetic, and efficient.
I shall move my whole command into Kentucky within a day or two, and shall occupy the line from Prestonburg to Whitesburg.
I am, &c.,
I omitted to report that the enemy has withdrawn beyond Prestonburg.
Fort Donelson, November 29, 1861.
General A. SIDNEY JOHNSTON,
Commanding Western Department:
SIR: The defenses of both Forts Donelson and Henry demand that a light battery should be prepared at both places with the loss of as little time as possible.
At the former place I need nothing more than the horses to equip the battery completely. At Fort Henry I have but one field gun, but with two spare pieces at Fort Donelson. I shall need only two 12-pounder howitzers to make up the complement.
The absolute necessity of our occupying an eminence on the opposite side of the river from Fort Henry involves not only the erection of a small field work there, with several heavy guns, but also the occupation of an advanced point with a small force, aided by a field battery.
I am informed that the State of Alabama will send a full regiment to this point, with 500 negroes, for building the work. This information reaches me through Colonel Heiman, commanding post. The regiment is intended for the main work on what is called Stewart's Hill, and will arrive in a few days (10 days). The advanced work spoken of was not contemplated when the agent of the State of Alabama was there on the 26th instant. It is essential, and the battalion of 500 men can be easily raised. This will involve the necessity of another light battery of four pieces, all of which will have no be furnished.
To equip these light batteries it will require six horses to each team at Fort Donelson, on account of the roads, and four for Henry and the works last spoken of; in all, 202 horses, at an average post of $140, requiring the sum of $28,280. I deem the necessity so great, that I