secrecy and security in our marches and maneuvers which would accrue from our being amongst a friendly population would be worth something to our Army; but the advantage, if not necessity, to our cause of encouraging and holding the people firm in the resolve never to submit, which the pressure with them of an active army would give, is of momentous importance. Let the people be kept aroused; let them not adopt the blighting fallacy of argument, what our Army cannot do it is hopeless for us to undertake; but, on the contrary, let them be encourage to resist and inspired with the determination never ot yield, and then for us time becomes a position which neither gunboats can successfully assault nor numbers flank. Against it both are impotent. Under its pressure the enemy must go down in hopeless bankruptcy or disband his armies, perhaps do both. Either affords us the independence worth all our sacrifice and which must bee won. It may be considerations touching or foreign relations, and of which I am wholly ignorant, suffice in wisdom to detract from the importance, or even directly conflict with the immediate adoption, of the views here advanced. Speedy armed intervention from abroad may be confidently relied on, or possibly pressing necessity to hold inviolate our capital, to the end of securing our recognition by foreign powers, may enhance its value politically, if not for the present give to it an essentiality even beyond what pertains to it in any strictly military sense, such as being a point strategic, strong, or otherwise important. These considerations I have not embraced, but gone upon the assumption we were alone and unaided to fight our battle out. You must take my views as a soldier, not a statesman.
In conclusion, it is my hope I am not biased by any personal or geographical circumstances. I know myself sincere in the belief that if I thought any other part of my country more immediately important to the whole than the sections mentioned I would may all efforts to first hold that part.
The views I have expressed are the earnest convictions of one whose fortune, life, and every worldly hope have been cheerfully and without a single regret staked upon the issue of the pending contest. They are not urged with the insolence of demand or uttered with the mummer of complaint, but submitted respectfully, and with unwavering confidence in the courage, wisdom, and virtue of the Chief Magistrate directing the country.
Very truly, your friend,
HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Numbers 3.
Murfreesborough, Tenn., February 23, 1862.
Under great necessity temporary possession may be taken of wagons, teams, and other property of our citizens for the use of the army; but this authority can be exercised by chiefs of the army alone.
It is positively prohibited to any officer to seize, take, or impress property of any kind except by written order of the commanding general or division commander, and this authority must be exhibited to the party from whom the property is taken.
Officers or soldiers violating this order will be arrested, proceeded against, and punished as plunders and marauders.
By command of General Johnston:
W. W. MACKALL,