EDGEFIELD, February 14, [1862.]
General FLOYD, Fort Donelson:
If you lose the fort, bring your troops to Nashville if possible.
A. S. JOHNSTON,
NASHVILLE, TENN., February 14, 1862.
Colonel R. A. PRYOR, Richmond, Va.:
DEAR COLONEL: Your favor of the 9th instant has been received.* I regret much that you did not come on from Lynchburg, for the rumors that you refer to were all unfounded, and the matters General Johnston and myself had to communicate through you to the Government were of great importance, being to provide for the very unfortunate contingency now existing here. Moreover I desired you to see for yourself and others the exact condition of things here in justice to my own self, for I am taking the helm when the ship is already in the breakers and with but few sailors to man it. How it is to be extricated from its present perilous condition Providence alone can determine, and unless with its aid I can accomplish but little. My health, moreover, has failed me completely lately. I was confined to my room by a wretched cold all the time I was at Bowling Green. It is the most unfortunate thing that could have happened to me, for the loss of one or two weeks now is or may post as fast as possible. We must defeat the enemy somewhere to give confidence ot our friends. Large depots of provisions, ammunition, &c., ought to be provided for at Atlanta, Montgomery, and Jackson, Miss., &c., without loss of time, for future contingencies. We must give up some minor points and concentrate our forces to save the most important ones, or we will lose all of them in succession. The loss of Fort Donelson (God grant it may not fall) would be followed by consequences too lamentable t be now alluded to.
In haste, yours, truly and sincerely.
G. T. BEAUREGARD.
NASHVILLE, February 14, 1862.
The following dispatch just received from Fort Donelson:
We have just had the fiercest fight on record between our guns and two gunboats which lasted two hours. They reached within less than 200 yards of our batteries. We drove them back, damaging two of them badly and crippled a third very badly. No damage done to our battery and not a man killed.
GID. J. PILLOW,