War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0900 OPERATIONS IN KY., TENN., N. ALA., AND S. W. VA.

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by day, awaiting the advance of the enemy, he will assemble such a force as to insure his success and a repetition of the late disasters only with more desolating consequences.

Hence I have thought I would submit for the consideration of the Governors of the Mississippi Valley States a plan which I deem most practicable for the recovery of our losses and defenses of this river, and call upon them for the means of execution.

I propose that the Governors of the States of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama and your excellency shall each furnished me with from 5,000 to 10,000 men, armed and equipped, with the utmost possible celerity, for time is precious and dispatch essential to success. I shall call on General Van Dorn to unite his forces with mine, and leaving a suitable garrison at Columbus, with troops to guard and hold my rear at Island Numbers 10, I would then take the field with at least 40,000 men, march on Paducah, seize and close the mouths of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers; aided by gunboats, I could also successfully assail Cairo, and threaten, if not indeed take, Saint Louis itself.

In this way be assured wa may most certainly and speedily recover our losses and insure the defense of the valley of the Mississippi, and every man you may send me will really be placed in the best possible position for the defense of his own home and hearth-stone.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


General, C. S. Army.

This confidential circular was sent by special messengers to the Governors of Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, the rendezvous of the troops furnished to be as follows; Those from Tennessee, at Jackson, Tenn.; from Alabama, at Corinth; from Mississippi, at Grand Junction; from Louisiana, at Jackson, Tenn., if by railroad, and at Columbus, Ky., if by water.

G. T. B.

[Inclosure Numbers 2.]

JACKSON, TENN., February 21, 1862.

Major General EARL VAN DORN,

Commanding, &c., Pocahontas, Ark.:

MY DEAR GENERAL: By the fall of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers the forces under General Polk (now to be under me) are entirely cut off from those under General A. S. Johnston, and must now depend upon themselves alone for the defense of the Mississippi River. The fate of Missouri necessarily depends on the successful defense of Columbus and of Island Numbers 10; hence we must, if possible, combine our operations not only to defends those positions, but also tao take the offensive as soon as practicable to recover some of our lost ground. I have just called on the Governors of Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi for 5,000 men from each State. I have 15,000 disposable for the field. If you could certainly join me, via New Madrid or Columbus, with 10,000 more, we could thus take the field with 40,000 men; take Cairo, Paducah, the mouths of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers, and most probably be able to take also Saint Louis by the river. What say you to this brilliant programme, which I know is fully practicable if we can