War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0496 W.FLA., S.ALA., S.MISS., LA., TEX., N.MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

position and is acting accordingly, or else that I do not correctly appreciate it.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Chief of Staff.


Sims' Plantation, opposite Simsport, La., May 19, 1863.

Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington:

MY DEAR COLONEL: I am one of the last men in the world to violate the official unities, but the following information, obtained while the commanding general was in New Orleans, may not keep until, on his return, he can communicate it officially:

1. For about a week we have taken every rebel mail intended for Alexandria, the former headquarters of Lieutenant General E. Kirby Smith, and the distributing officer for Texas and Western Louisiana. Here are the results, mainly from official sources:

2. Bragg was, "more than a fortnight since" (April 8), ordered to Richmond "for consultation." "Johnston, who has assumed immediate command of the Army in Tennessee, has surely 50,000 troops." Beauregard has more than 30,000 troops. (Private letter from Major H. L. Clay, assistant adjutant-general, on duty in the Adjutant and Inspector General's Office at Richmond, to his friend, Surg. S. A. Smith, of E. K. Smith's staff, at Alexandria, dated April 8.) Major Clay is, I think, a relative of C. C. Clay, of Alabama. Incidently, he mentions taking breakfast with Mr. Davis. At the close of a long and free letter, he says: "In many respects my position with General Cooper is more than agreeable. I seem to have his confidence in the fullest official sense."

3. One of Bragg's inspectors-general (J. P. Baltzell), writing from Tullahoma, April 11, says:

He has 60,000 infantry; that the whole army took four hours to march in review past General Johnston in column of companies.

(At the great view at Munsom's Hill, seven division, of the Army of the Potomac, lacking three brigades, and estimated at 65,000 men, took three hours and twenty minutes to march in review past General McClellan, formed in double column at half distance, except Porter's division, which took wheeling distance, of course.)

4. Captain C. F. Sanders, of the Buckner Guards, writing from Tullahoma, April 15, to his brother, says the army consists of-

Hardee's corps: Breckinridge's division (19,000)-Adams', Brown's, Preston's, and B. H. Helm's brigades; Cleburne's division-Lucius [E.] Polk's, Lidell's, Johnston's, and Wood's brigades.

Polk's corps: Cheatham's division-McCown's and Withers' brigades.

Total strength of the two corps 35,000 or 40,000 effective infantry. Hardee at Tullahoma, Polk at Shelbyville. Cavalry: [John H.] Morgan, with 6,000 or 8,000 at McMinnville; [John A.] Wharton, "north [toward Murfreesborough], with about 2,000 at Beach Grove;" Forrest and Van Dorn at Columbia, with about 10,000, "operating against Nashville and its environs." There are four regiments-Second, Fourth, Sixth, and Ninth Kentucky-in Helm's brigade. The captain belongs to Cleburne's division, and asks to have his letter directed to that general's care.