that Washington and Lee added the whole will furnish two full regiments, though now I doubt it. The President may rely, however, that I will enforce the call, and display the actual military strength of this section of Virginia.
Information from Lee County is that they have comparatively no arms or ammunition. Certainly the same fact exists here. Can Government furnish any or can they be purchased? I think the commissioner of sequestration should come to this section immediately, and when a man flies to Kentucky, now occupied along our lines by the enemy, his estate should at once be seized by the public authority and put into the way of being confiscated. This act would follow so quickly and directly upon the desertion that a very few examples would strike home to the disease of the body-politic, and would teach the men of property the necessity of loyalty, while, on the other hand, I will impart to them with absolute impartiality the necessity of personal service when their county calls them to its defense. If an energetic course is now pursued for one month by the authorities, both civil and military, I venture the assertion that this western section will present a first-rate military and absolutely loyal population, ready to do service whenever called upon.
I hope the commanding general will take some pains to induce the civil authority to send its agent as indicated by me, for I assure you it is of great consequence this shall be done, and in the end, among those who are against us or calculating chances, it will prove the most efficient as well as the most humane course. A few seizures will stop all running, and will bring home to the people that estimate of duty they will never feel without such an example before their eyes.
The enemy still at Pikeville; his intentions not exactly known to me except as conjectured heretofore. I hear that he meditates abandoning Sandy Valley to go West; also that his cavalry is deserting; also that his 400 cavalry lately at West Liberty has fallen back to Owingsville. This last I believe.
I am, respectfully, &c.,
HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Corinth, March 25, 1862.
The PRESIDENT, Richmond, Va.:
I arrived here yesterday and conferred with Generals Beauregard, Polk, and Bragg. General Beauregard returned to Jackson. General Van Dorn is at Van Buren, moving towards Jacksonport, Ark., and had purposed an advance toward New Madrid to attack the enemy. I ordered him to Memphis. He is not menaced by the enemy. There was no subsistence for either him or the enemy. I considered the country impracticable between Jacksonport and New Madrid, while at Memphis his force will be in position. The enemy is advancing to-day in some force from Pittsburg toward Corinth. Monterey, 11 miles in front, was occupied to-day by a small force of cavalry and two regiments of infantry. Decatur is held by a small force to guard the bridge. My force is now united, holding Burnsville, Iuka, and Tuscumbia, with one division here.
A. S. JOHNSTON,
General, C. S. Army.