When General Johnston, about the 1st of October last, made a call upon several of the States of the Southwest, including the State of Tennessee, for large numbers of troops, why was that call revoked? Was the act of revocation in pursuance of an order from the War Department or upon his own judgment merely?
Has the Department received any official reports of the affair at Fort Henry or Fort Donelson or touching the surrender of Nashville? If so, communicate the same.
ROBT. E. DIXON,
Clerk House of Representatives.
HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Decatur, Ala., March 17, 1862.
SIR: In answer to certain interrogatories addressed to me by the chairman of the special committee of the House of Representatives, dated "Richmond, VA., March 10, 1862," I have the honor to submit the following:
I. After being placed in command of the Confederate forces in the Western Department I proceeded to Columbus, Ky., to confer with Major-General Polk. I left Columbus on the 13th and arrived at Bowling Green, Ky., on the 14th of October. At the time of my arrival Brigadier-General Buckner's effective force (General B. was then in command there) was about 5,000 men, effective. Major-General Hardee's army corps was by my order arriving at that time from the West. This force increased the army at Bowling Green about 6,000 men. On the 28th of October, the date that I assumed the immediate command of the army, my effective force at Bowling Grene was, say, 12,000 men.
II. The number of the enemy's force at that time between Bowling Green and the Ohio River, in my immediate front, was estimated by me at 20,000, but, in addition to this force, he had large auxiliary forces on either flank, adn his army was being rapidly re-enforced from the States of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky.
III. Bowling Green was fortified for the reason that, in my judgment and that of my generals, it was the most defensible point that could be selected to cover Nashville and our souther line of operations, extending from Cumberland ap to the Mississippi River. It is naturally strong; a salient point on the railways and turnpike road passing through Kentucky; was difficult to turn by an aggressive enemy, and was the most eligible depot and bas of operations for an advancing army. It is proper to say that at the time fortifications were commenced at Bowling Green I had hopes that my army would be sufficiently augmented to enable me to make an advance against the enemy. Finding, however, that his forces were increasing very much more rapidly than my own, additional and strong defenses were erected at Bowling Green to prevent the position being carried by the overwhelming numbers of the enemy.
IV. At the time of the fall of Fort Henry my effective force at Bowling Green, say February 7, was 22,000 men. I immediately detached 8,000 of this force, under Brigadiers Floyd and Buckner, to re-enforce Fort Donelson, ind addition to 4,000 ordered from Hopkinsville and Clarksville to the same point, thus making the force at Fort Donelson on the 13th, the first day of the conflict there, 17,000 men.
V. I received no dispatches from the commanding or other general at Donelson asking for re-enforcements either before or during the conflict.
[A. S. JOHNSTON.]