War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0744 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter

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XXVII.

avenged? A mind so debased as to be capable of conceiving the alternative presented in this order must be fruitful of inventions wherewith to pillute humanity. Shameless enough to allow their publication in the city, by the countenance of such atrocities they will be multiplied in the country. It inhabitants must arm and strike, or the insolent victors will offer this outrage to yours wives, your sisters, and your daughters. Possessed of New Orleans by means of his superior naval force, he cannot penetrate the interior if you resolve to prevent it. It does not require a force of imposing magnitude to impede his progress. Companies of experienced woodsmen in every exposed locality, with their trusty rifles and shot-guns, will harass his invading columns, deprive him of his pilots, and assure him he is in the country of an enemy. At proper points larger forces will be collected, but every man can be a soldier to guard the approaches to his home. Organize, then, quickly and efficiently. If your enemy attempt to proceed into the interior let his parkway be marked by his blood. It is your homes that you have to defend. It is the jewel of your hearths-the chastity of your women-you have to guard. Let that thought animate your breasts, nerve your arms, quicken your energies, and inspire your resolution. Strike home to the heart of your foe the blow that rids your country of his presence. If need by let his blood moisten your own grave. It will rise up before your children as a perpetual memento of a race whom it will teach to have now and evermore.

THOS. O. MOORE.

HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT,

Corinth, Miss., May 25, 1862.

Brigadier General C. G. DAHLGREN,

Commanding, Fayette, Miss.:

SIR: Your communications of the 17th and 20th* instant have been received, and I answer them at the earliest leisure moment. The questions propounded are replied to as directly as possible:

1st. In regard to the man who offered to bear a letter from the enemy's cutter, have him kept in jail for thirty days.

2nd. I must express my utter surprise and amazement at the reception of the enemy. To say the least it was very irregular and strange, ignoring the customs of civilized warfare and ill-becoming Southerners fighting for their homes and independence.

3rd. Your course in leaving the city after what had happened and in burning all cotton liable to fall into the enemy's hands is duly approved. You could not be expected to hold and successfully defend a place without an adequate force of infantry and heavy guns. Should the enemy occupy the city hereafter it would be well to remove all transportation (except what is absolutely necessary for the wants of the citizens) into the country, and if it is not safe there have the wagons, drays, &c., permanently disabled or burned up.

4th. You speak with regret and solicitude of the condition of affairs in Natchez and the surrounding country, both as to their military and political condition. The absence of a sufficient force to guard our important cities from occupation by the enemy is to be deplored, but our only success lies in throwing all our forces into large armies, with which to meet and successfully overthrow our adversary. The result of one

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*Of 20th not found. For that of 17th, see p. 736.

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