War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0846 OPERATIONS IN KY., TENN., N. ALA., AND S. W. VA. Chapter XVII.

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HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, WESTERN DEPARTMENT,

Columbus, Ky., January 22, 1862.

Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN,

Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: The movement in regard to the re-enlistment of troops for the war is one which must impress us all with hits paramount importance, and I have already taken measures to inaugurate that movement in this division.

The attention of my army is now being fixed in this direction, and I earnestly hope that no impediment will be permitted to remain in the way of its successful consummation. As the tide of patriotic feeling rises it should be promptly met by the Government. There is but one way in which this can be done. In the very incipiency of this movement I should be placed in possession of a sufficient amount of funds with which to discharge the bounty claims of those re-enlisting. This rising feeling should not be permitted to cool, and I beg leave respectfully to ask that I be immediately so pecuniarily placed as to enable me to secure for the war the services of those who are now ready to re-enlist, as well as those who are daily manifesting a desire to do so.

You will from your knowledge of the strength of the force at my command judge of the amount that should be remitted.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

L. POLK,

Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, WESTERN DEPARTMENT,

Columbus, Ky., January 22, 1862.

His Excellency Governor PETTUS:

GOVERNOR: I am in receipt of your dispatch promising me such support as you can afford. It is of the utmost importance that the South, the whole South, should put forth its strength at this juncture in Kentucky. A strong, bold, and determined effort now will go far towards settling our future for us. I have developed my views to General Alcorn very fully, and beg to refer you to him for them. We have the men to do the work demanded, but I am profoundly impressed with the fact that our people are not alive to the critical condition of things before us and around us. We should have, and must have, an additional force of at least 30,000 men to put the Kentucky frontier in a condition of effectual defense. If we can have this aid burden of the can settle this war, and I hope we who are bearing the burden of the common defense will be sustained by our countrymen in the States around us.

Referring you to General Alcorn for the details of my views, I have the honor to remain, your obedient servant,

L. POLK,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT,

Bowling Green, January 23, 1862.

Major-General LOVELL, New Orleans:

I am out of lead. Crittenden defeated and falling back. Send a supply by passenger train to Captain Wright, Nashville, if possible.

A. S. JOHNSTON,

General.