War of the Rebellion: Serial 011 Page 0316 KY.,TENN.,N. MISS.,N. ALA.,AND SW. VA. Chapter XXII.

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cure transportation, but unless pressed that cannot be done in less than a week or ten days.

Thus matters stand, according to information I have been able to gather here from the most reliable sources. Now, what would prevent 5,000 effective men of the enemy from coming through one of the above gaps-Big Creek, for instance-making a forced march of three days on Loudon or some other point on the railroad, getting possession of the railroad, and capturing the Government stores? The very idea of the possibility of such a result is sickening, to say nothing of the moral effect on our enemies, that world, and our own people. The disaster would be irreparable. After the loss of our supplies at Nashville the loss of the immense stores collected by the Government on this road would result in disbanding the larger portion of our army for want of food to sustain them. Now, you will say, what is to be done? I say have a general-an able, skillful, energetic, and bold man-sent here immediately. Such a one might accomplish much now, ten days hence it may be too late. Additional troops are also needed, and there is little or not artillery here. In my judgment the Government stores ought to be removed immediately farther south-to Atlanta, for instance. They are in an enemy's country here, and will be needed farther south.

I write you that you may lay these matters before the War Department, if you consider them worthy, and make such other proper use of them as you deem proper.

Very respectfully, and truly, yours,


[MARCH 12, 1862.-For Jefferson Davis to A. S. Johnston, in reference to fall of Forts Henry and Donelson and affairs generally in Kentucky and Tennessee, see Series I, Vol. VII, p. 257.]

JACKSON, TENN., March 12, 1862.

Major-General POLK:

General Chalmers telegraphs from Iuka:

Some of boats in sight at Eastport when my pickets left at 6 o'clock this morning. Enemy were at Savannah last night with thirty-three transports and three gunboats. Did not disembark wagons and horses. All on board at sunset. They said they would start for railroad this morning early. There is not water enough for the gunboats to go to Florence. They will stop at Pittsburg or Eastport. The enemy took in all pickets and guards at night.

Later.-Shelling Eastport; two gunboats in sight.

I advise you to keep your forces well in hand for any movement.


General, Commanding.

PURDY, March 12, 1862.

Brigadier-General RUGGLES:

GENERAL: I have just received your communication* of this date. I was in hopes that you would have had something from General Bragg, as I have no instructions. I have sent a courier to Bethel with a du-


*Not found.