War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0901 Chapter XVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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get the forces? At all events we must do something or die in the attempt; otherwise all will be shortly lost.

Yours, truly and sincerely,


General, C. S. Army.

P. S.-I expect also the co-operation of twelve gunboats from New Orleans. I will inform you of the Governors' answers as soon as received.

RICHMOND, VA., February 23, 1862.

Honorable OTHO R. SINGLETON, Richmond:

DEAR SIR: Your proffered kindness touching my personal advancement induces me to the liberty of requesting your aid in making known to the War Department certain reasons, seeming to me proper, for removing to Tennessee, as a field of service, the Seventh and Fourteenth Tennessee Regiments, and also in calling attention of the Department to some views deemed worthy of consideration in respect to the importance of our immediately possessing, by whatever force is necessary, the sections of Southern Kentucky and all Tennessee.

First, with regard to the troops mentioned, they, with my own regiment, have for some time past composed a brigade under my command, and I have every reason to believe if they be sent to Tennessee they can be forthwith re-enlisted almost in mass; and, if not sent, I fear they may hesitate to do so. I must say, in justice to myself, I do not sent, I fear they may hesitate to do so. I must say, in justice to myself, I do not under take to justify this spirit in the troops, but only mention it as an existing fact to be dealt with in the prudence of the Department. The condition of going to Tennessee can be offered and the re-enlistments secured before the troops are moved, and I think this course advisable. They are troops inured to the service, and the advantage of re-engaging such, armed and prepared for the war, is doubtless appreciated by the Department.

With respect to the territory mentioned, I am impressed that, well considered, its relative importance to the Confederacy will induce the speediest possible concentration there of sufficient forces to dispute its possession with the enemy, even if this can only be done by temporarily weakening other positions less vital in importance; for to allow the enemy possession is at once the abandonment of our most reliable cereal region, important besides for its manufacturing resources, and the section most populous with material for soldiers. Such a condition will induce many who would otherwise stand bravely in arms for us to succumb under despair of successful resistance and the hope of being unmolested in person and property. But, further, Midle and West Tennessee constitute a field for operations the possession of which will in all military respects be as positively advantageous to the enemy as its loss would be disadvantageous to us. For, first, it is a country capable of sustaining a large army; secondly, with the enemy's advantage of us in capability of manufacturing machinery for transportation and motive power by land and water, his fleets of gunboats on the Mississippi River will make safe the right flank of his army occupying the country and the Cumberland Mountains will do the same for his left, for there is no road through these mountains of sufficient capacity to transport the most necessary supplies of an army which would be adequate to seriously affect his rear. In direct terms, the position is one which, once fairly in possession of the enemy, cannot be turned. Afford-