Shall I intrench and defend the crossings at Florence and Decatur or join you at once? Please answer.
Brigadier-General, C. S. Army, Commanding Troops.
[To accompany telegram to Major-General Polk.]
I have not had Nashville operator to-day. Stevenson says he heard him this morning; they were expecting Federals every hour. General Johnston's army all this side river.
Pillow and Floyd were at Nashville yesterday, and good many of our Fort Donelson men had reached there.
We had about 5,000 men surrendered at Fort Donelson with General Buckner.
HDQRS. FIRST BRIGADE, LOUISIANA VOLUNTEERS,
Corinth, Miss., February 18, 1862.
Major General A. SIDNEY JONSTON,
I reported yesterday my arrival. Two regiments of troops had then arrived and two more are near at hand.
I have received orders from General Polk to proceed to Columbus, Ky., as General Beauregard is unable to assume command.
The general (Polk) is not aware of your movements, and I am desire out to know you instructions respecting my brigade, as there may be time before I can move.
If the enemy reaches the Charleston and Memphis Railroad he can move on Mobile, Memphis, and New Orleans. Please answer.
Brigadier-General, C. S. Army, Commanding Brigade.
CIRCULAR.] HEADQUARTERS C. S. TROOPS,
Iuka, Miss., February 18, 1862.
The general commanding has been deeply mortified to hear from the citizens that we came to protect complaints that some of the troops of this command had been guilty of the most disgraceful plundering of private property; that chickens had been stolen, hogs had been killed, a horse wantonly stabbed, private gardens robbed. Such conduct is disgraceful in itself, unworthy of Southern soldiers, and only equaled by the marauding hordes that are invading our soil. It is hoped that such things may not occur again in future, but if ever they should, it is enjoined not only all officers, but upon all good men also, to ferret out and expose to ignominy and punishment the quilt parties, whose conduct when unexposed brings down common disgrace upon all. The patriot soldier who has left all the comforts and luxuries of home to battle for his country's rights will be exposed to suspicion and must bear his portion of the common disgrace. It therefore behooves him above all others to assist in detecting the quilt.
By order of Brigadier General James R. Chalmers:
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.