zens who before abounded in wealth. But this was not the worst. The tyranny of the officers and men intimidated the people of the country, and had a tendency to make them submissive to a power they had not the means to resist or repel. This past experience, of oppression and insults makes the citizens of this part of the State apprehensive. They believe that should the Confederate army, now in Middle Tennessee, be obliged to fall back, this country will be again overrun by marauding parties of the Federal army, more incensed against the local population than before, and nothing will save the people from ill-treatment but a general exodus t some remote, district, there to suffer by starvation.
The late conscription has left us without men, except the infirm and the aged. Women and children are now the chief population, and upon them will fall the fury of the enemy, incensed and maddened by late defeats, and unrestrained by their officers.
Under this, our helpless condition, we appeal to you for protection, asking an army, sufficient to restrain the marauding parties of the enemy. Situated as this country is, with the Tennessee River, a wide and rapid stream, running through our country, we believe from 5,000 to 6,000 men, composed of infantry, cavalry, and artillery, would be sufficient to keep an enemy from crossing the river above mentioned.
It might be necessary for our citizens under such a protection to get the side of the river protected, and abandon the other, but this would be greatly preferred to being obliged to abandon our country entirely. We have abundance of corn to support an army, but no meat, so that on the score of bread there can be no objection.
We most earnestly solicit you to give us the protection asked for. We think ourselves entitled to it, as our able-bodied men are all, or nearly all, in the army, giving protection to other countries, not their own; none at home to shield those most dear to them.
N. H. RICE,
CHAS. H. FANT,
R. W. WALKER.
JAS. W. STEWART.
B. T. KANSNER.
H. C. WOOD.
GEO. W. KANSNER.
ROBT. V. FOSTER.
J. B. SIMPSON.
B. F. FOSTER.
S. C. POSEY.
M. P. ASHER.
Richmond, Va., December 7, 1862
Indorsement on letter of General Bragg, calling attention to verbal application when in Richmond for a chief of engineer department; requests that Captain Harris, Engineer Corps, be returned to him, &c.,
The Corps of Engineers in the Army of the Confederate States embraces-colonel, 1; majors,4; captains,8; total, 13. Of this number, 7 have been assigned to duty beyond the line of their immediate profession, leaving but 6 for engineer service, and these are in charge of operations from which they cannot be relieved without serious risk to the country. Recently Brigadier-General Leadbetter has been sent to Mobile on engineer duty, and now directs the works for the defense of that place. To supply General Bragg, it became necessary to make a selection from the officers of the Provisional Corps of Engineers. Major Nocquet has had more experience as a military engineer than any one serving in the Western Department, and is intelligent in his profession. There is no available officer of sufficient experience to replace him.
J. F. GILMER.
Colonel of Engineers and Chief of Bureau