War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0823 Chapter XVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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most of our resources. I hope the Government may see no reason for declining this appointment.

I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. POLK,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT Numbers 1.

New Orleans, La., January 7, 1862.

Major-General POLK,

Commanding, Columbus, &c.:

SIR: I was somewhat surprised to receive notice at this late hour of your intention not to send me the troops which were ordered to join you some weeks since at your pressing call. When these men were sent I distinctly notified General Johnston and yourself that when the enemy made his appearance here I should require them to be returned, and the two regiments were received by you with that implied understanding. If not, you should have given me notice at the time, and I should have made other provisions against an emergency. I did not expect that when I called for them the matter would be referred to the Secretary of War. The Third Mississippi Regiment is composed largely of men born and bred on the coast, thoroughly acquainted with all the inlets, bayous, and sounding of that peculiar country, and are absolutely necessary to me. They cannot be replaced by any other men that can be sent, and I must be permitted to insist that they be returned here. Many of them are fishermen and residents of the coast, and left their families there unprovided and unprotected, with the understanding that when the enemy should make his appearance I would recall them. They were lent you with that understanding, and it would reflect unjustly upon me if they were retained, to say nothing of the prejudice to the public service by retaining at Columbus (when other troops would do as well) a regiment peculiarly adapted and indeed raised mainly for the defense of the intricate coast of Mississippi Sound.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT,

Bowling Green, January 7, 1862.

His Excellency JOHN J. PETTUS,

Governor of Mississippi, Jackson:

Your excellency's telegram, asking me to send all companies now in Mississippi, raised under your (my) call, to report to General Lovell for Mississippi sea-coast defenses, has been received.

Most solicitous for the safety of our coast and always anxious, Governor, to meet your wishes in the prompt manner in which you have always responded to mine, it is with regret I must here hesitate in complying, and for the following reasons, viz:

1. The circumstances making my call a necessity for the defense of this frontier are unchanged, and here the most dangerous attack can be made on Mississippi, and here the stoutest resistance should be opposed to it.

2. I have sent to General Lovell more than the troops he has asked, in view of the landing on your coast.