War of the Rebellion: Serial 023 Page 0821 Chapter XXVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

to collect supplies. On Tuesday last he sent out De Courcy's brigade with about 500 wagons in the direction of Manchester. I have no doubt that the purpose is collect supplies. The enemy have blockaded the Gaps through which General Smith passed into Kentucky. The only route open to Kentucky now is via of Somerset. I have just received a dispatch from General Stevenson saying they had already received some supplies. Unless the Gap can be invested on the north side my forces will become simply an army of observation. I have submitted the whole matter to the Secretary of War.

If you will excuse the liberty I will give you the result of a year's experience in West Tennessee and Kentucky. By reference to the maps you will see that the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers come near together between the Tennessee line and the Ohio. The distance is less than 2 miles. This neck of land is high ground-three elevations, the center one the highest. I believe that this point should be strongly fortified. Mayfield, on the Paducah Railroad, should also be fortified, say for two regiments. Columbus, Ky., connects the line with the Mississippi River; eight regiments would protect it against any ordinary attack. A battery and one regiment well intrenched at Hickman are necessary to protect the railroad from that point to Union City. Now comes the most important point on the Mississippi-New Madrid. Works at Island No. 10 and New Madrid cover all the country from Union City to Gape Girardeau. Forces can be massed at Union City or New Madrid and thrown to any one of the points fortified in a short space of time. The line is complete. I have gone into explanations only sa far as to call your attention to the peculiar features of this country and to the lines of communications. You see from this rough sketch the facility of transporting troops from Union City to any one of the points named. I intend nothing more, general, than to call your attention to the matter. Unless these points are fortified Nashville or Memphis will never be safe, nor Middle nor West Tennessee free from invasion.

I can hear nothing from General Breckinridge.

J. P. McCOWN,

Major-General.

KNOXVILLE, TENN., September 14, 1862.

Major General SAMUEL JONES, Chattanooga, Tenn.:

General E. K. Smith informs me that Kentucky is rising en masse and wants arms. Have you any?

J. P. McCOWN,

Major-General, Commanding.

KNOXVILLE, TENN., September 14, 1862.

General S. COOPER, Richmond, Va.:

General E. K. Smith calls for arms for the Kentuckians flocking to his standard. Could arm 20,000 men if he had arms. Can I get them from Richmond? None here. General Smith (date 5th, from Lexington) says Kentucky is rising en masse.

J. P. McCOWN,

Major-General.