at the map of the country will satisfy any one that if the raiding parties of the enemy be permitted to cross the river there is no natural barrier to prevent him from sweeping as low down the country as the Alabama river, penetrating that region of the State in which are located the mining and manufacturing establishments now getting into successful operation, and which it is believed are and will continue to be of great benefit to our cause. To protect our people against such calamities as would result from the incursions of the enemy, we deem it of the utmost importance that General Roddey's command be retained in its present locality, and that he be permitted to increase his force from the adjacent country and from the region within the line of the enemy, and that he have returned to his brigade five companies of Alabama troops now under the command of Major-General Forrest. These companies were all raised by General Roddey, mostly within the enemy's lines, and who entered the service expecting to continue under his command. They are very anxious to be restored to General Roddey's brigade, and we under stand that General Forrest would, not object to such restoration. These five companies are commanded respectively by Captain Steele, Moore, Barr, Warren, and Hansell. From these sources we think that General Roddey will strengthen his command sufficiently to protect our people against the raids of the raids of the enemy, coming either across Tennessee River or from the direction of Corinth. We think he will also be enabled to draw supplies of bacon, beef cattle, hogs, grain, and leather from Middle Tennessee, in larger quantities than heretofore, though he has already drawn much in that way. Besides, this, his position is such that should opportunity offer he could fall upon the enemy's communication with Chattanooga and do him serious damage.
Again should the enemy be permitted to take possession of the country south of the Tennessee River, he will not find, it difficult to extend his line to the Warrior, and perhaps to the Alabama River, without meeting with serious opposition, but would on the contrary receive great encouragement inthe mountain regions in our State, where is unfortunately in some parts disaffected population.
In view of what is above set forth, we hope the honorable Secretary of War will permit the necessary increase of General Roddey's force. We believe that by so doing the interest of the whole country would be greatly advanced.
THOS. J. FOSTER.
R. JEMISON, JR.
W. R. SMITH.
JOHN P. RALLS.
C. C. CLAY, JR.
JANUARY 5, 1864.
Respectfully submitted to the consideration of the President as bearing on a subject now engaging his attention.
J. A. SEDDON.,
Secretary of War.
SECRETARY OF WAR:
Please have the views of department commanders Johnston and
Polk upon the question on which we conferred and that now pre