RICHMOND, VA., February 19, 1862.
General G. T. BEAUREGARD, Jackson, Tenn.:
Your dispatch to General Cooper received. Evacuation decided on. Select defensive position below. Look to safety of artillery and munitions. A fleet of boats should promptly be sent from Memphis or other point to aid the movement.
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War.
NASHVILLE, [February] 19, 1862.
The enemy landed at Clarksville from three gunboats at half-past four o'clock to-day.
JOHN B. FLOYD,
RICHMOND, February 19, 1862.
Colonel D. LEADBETTER, Knoxville, Tenn.:
Move the regiment to a point on the railroad convenient for marching to the Gap, and hold them there unless re-enforcements are required at the Gap. An agent was sent from there on the 13th to attend to the matter of bacon at Knoxville. We wait to receive his report.
Adjutant and Inspector General.
GLADESVILLE, February 19, 1862.
[General S. COOPER,]
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: I send you the reports received this morning just before day. Yesterday it was said the enemy had all left Piketon to go down the river, and I requested a friend in Richmond to say so to you. I did not then credit that report, and a day brings forth this out unsatisfactory solution of his movements.
You see Colonel Williams says two of his companies have gone to the head of the Cumberland. They are hunting corn to feed upon. All the horses broken down, and distemperoid were sent off a week since to feed and be recruited, and are now near 40 miles from the wagons. I am scouring this country to-day to press horses to bring away the wagons, intending to concentrate my forces behind Clinch River if they can whip me at Osborne's Gap, which I think is not unlikely at all. I have ordered Colonels Trigg and Moore to move in this direction, taking provisions on pack-horses, and I have ordered Williams to resist the occupancy of Osborne's Gap with his regiment, and if he has to retreat, to move by the way of the Crane's Nest back on Guest's Station, where it is to be hoped Trigg and Moore will join the forces retreating from Pound Gap.
I feel, sir, that my task is as onerous as it is unwelcome, and I mourn that impending disasters should be the fate awaiting my administration of this command.
I am, &c.,