HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Corinth, Miss., March 25, 1862.
Major General BRAXTON BRAGG:
It is necessary for the present to order Colonel Scott's [Louisiana] cavalry regiment to remain on the south side of Elk River and watch movements of the enemy between crossing of road from Pulaski and Fayetteville,* and this note is written not only to give you this information, but to say that this order is not intended in any way to interfere with the assignment of that regiment, already made, to your command.
By order of A. S. Johnston, General C. S. Army:
ED. W. MUNFORD,
Major and Aide-de-Camp.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Jackson, Tenn., March 25, 1862.
Colonel J. GORGAS,
Chief of Ordnance, Richmond:
COLONEL: Notwithstanding that there was a scarcity of the materials for making bronze field pieces, and fearing moreover that my communications with the east might be cut off for a time at least, whereby I should be thrown upon my own resources, I issued a call upon the planters for their bells. Already that call has met with a patriotic response from all quarters, and a large number of these bells have been placed subject to my orders at points on the navigable rivers and at railroad stations.
The question now is how may these bells be most advantageously transmuted into cannon, to which end I must now invoke your assistance and advice.
I desire to have 12-pounder Napoleon smooth-bore and 6-pounder (caliber) rifle guns, which I am advised by General Bragg can be manufactured in New Orleans, where Leeds & Co. have the proper models and all necessary experience. Propositions have also been made from parties at Natchez to cast some guns. I regard it as clearly advantageous to encourage the casting of such guns at different points in this valley, so that should a foundery unfortunately fall into the hands of the enemy we should not be wholly crippled and deprived of our resources, but have several centers of manufacture. I must therefore ask you to supply, through me, drawings and the necessary details and instructions for the Natchez foundery for both descriptions of guns just mentioned.
I must also ask you to establish some just rate of compensation for the work to be done, also the value of the bells, with such other details and instructions concerning their conversion into field pieces as you may deem needful to facilitate and insure the casting of proper guns of the character wanted.
Please answer in part by telegraph.
Respectfully, colonel, your obedient servant,
[G. T. BEAUREGARD.]
*Colonel Scott so ordered same day.