War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0851 Chapter XVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, WESTERN DEPARTMENT,

Columbus, Ky., January 31, 1862.

His Excellency Gov. ISHAM G. HARRIS:

I send to you and to the Legislature of Tennessee General Gheatham, for the purpose of placing before you certain facts with regard to the condition of defenses of that part of the frontier with which I am charged. Since I have been in command I have not ceased to press upon the State and Confederate Governments the insufficiency of the force at my disposal for the service assigned me. These repeated representations have been met by occasional spasmodic efforts, which have fallen far short of our necessities.

I have made use of the force at my command in placing this post in a condition of strong defense, thereby endeavoring to compensate for the lack of numbers. But strong as it confessedly is, it will require troops to hold it, and these troops must be in numbers proportionate to the force to be brought against it. The enemy regard it as the main obstacle to their reduction of the Mississippi Valley, and are making preparations commensurate with the importance of that object. There need not be any undue solicitude in regard to the ultimate result. I regard this position in the condition of defense in which it has been placed as well nigh impregnable, but we need a strong supporting force to take care of our center as it should be cared for, and to protect our flanks. It is entirely within the power of the General Government and of the States immediately interested to supply this force, and in numbers sufficient to enable us to defy effectually every assault. I have fully discussed our wants with General Cheatham, who is perfectly master of the whole subject, and to whom I beg leave to refer you.

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

L. POLK,

Major-General, Commanding.

EXECUTIVE OFFICE, Jackson, Miss., Jan. 31, 1862.

Major General A. SIDNEY JOHNSTON, Bowling Green:

SIR: I have to-day, in virtue of an act of the legislature approved on the 29th instant, issued my proclamation, calling for 10,000 volunteers to serve for the teamer of two years. I trust that it will be promptly responded to. The act authorizes me to designate the times and places of rendezvous within the limits of the State.

Owing to the fact that the account between the State of Mississippi and the Confederate Government remains unadjusted, and that other resources have been exhausted, I am without the means of subsisting the troops which may respond to my proclamation.

I desire to know immediately whether you will not furnish provisions from the time they arrive at the places of rendezvous, of the designation of which you will be hereafter informed.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, yours,

JOHN J. PETTUS.

BOWLING GREEN, January 31, 1862.

Captain MONSARRAT, Knoxville:

Use every effort to bring together the stragglers from General Crittenden's command, officers and men. Send them to Nashville to report to Captain Lindsay for orders.

W. W. MACKALL,

Assistant Adjutant-General.