War of the Rebellion: Serial 011 Page 0417 Chapter XXII. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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Be prepared to burn it, but make your arrangements for blowing up its farther extremity. It is the only prompt and sure means of effecting its destruction in the face of a sudden and vigorous attack. The destruction of the bridge over Widden's Creek indicates that the enemy is not in force, and that he contemplates no attack on Chattanooga. It rather evidences an intention to destroy the road as far as Huntsville, thus preventing the passage of our troops and securing his own flank. All the bridges and trestle work on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad between the tunnel and Nashville were destroyed a short time since by Morgan. Their reconstruction will take some weeks. This, in connection with the fact that the Central Southern road is the most direct and has fewer obstructions, points to the letter as the true and probable line of their operations.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. KIRBY SMITH,

Major-General, Commanding.

KNOXVILLE, TENN., April 13, 1862.

Colonel J. C. VAUGHN,

Third Regiment Tennessee Volunteers, Kingston, Tenn.:

COLONEL: The enemy occupied Huntsville and Stevenson, Ala., in considerable force, and will attempt to use the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad as a means for carrying re-enforcements from Nashville to that point. They have burned the bridge over Widden's Creek, 5 miles from Bridgeport, to cut off communication with the army at Corinth and to protect their flank. The major-general commanding directs that you will send several picked companies of cavalry, commanded by the most bold but prudent officers, to operate at different points in destroying bridges and obstructing the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad between Nashville and Stevenson. They should keep constantly on the move, never long at any one point, and where the destruction of a bridge is attempted by one, let him emulate the character Morgan has already established and be sure to accomplish it.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. L. CLAY,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

P. S.-It is proper to inform you that a body of cavalry, under command of Colonel Starnes, was ordered from Chattanooga some time since to operate upon the Nashville and Chattanooga road, and it is now on that line.

KNOXVILLE, TENN., April 13, 1862.

General BEAUREGARD,

Corinth, Miss.:

The movement on Mitchel at Huntsville impracticable, because bridges west of Bridgeport, on the Tennessee River, have been burned by the enemy. If the South Carolina regiments come to me, it seems to me the most practicable movement is to threaten Nashville, going via Kingston and Sparta.

E. KIRBY SMITH,

Major-General, Commanding.

27 R R-VOL X, PT II