War of the Rebellion: Serial 058 Page 0561 Chapter XLIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

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main channel between Fort Morgan and the west bank, commencing from the west bank and covering a distance of 2,200 feet east of it. These obstructions being liable to be cut or removed by the enemy, I would very respectfully suggest that they be guarded by a picket-boat during the short time which is required by the engineer department to complete the channel defenses and projected additional obstructions.

I have the honor to be, admiral, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. SHELIHA,

Lieutenant-Colonel and Chief Engineer.

MONTGOMERY, ALA., January 15, 1864.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War, Richmond:

The undersigned citizens of Alabama, in view of the present position and probable designs of the enemy, beg leave respectfully to invite the attention of the War Department to the situation of affairs on the northern borders of Alabama and Mississippi along the line of the Tennessee River and within the departments of General Johnston and Lieutenant-General Polk. Not far south of that line and within easy striking distance of a cavalry raid of 4,000 or 5,000 of the enemy are now situated what may fairly be considered one of the most important, if not altogether the most important, possessions of the Confederate States in respect to coal and iron and cotton cloth-the works at Round Mountain, Blue Mountain, the coal mines and iron-works of the Red Mountain Company, the cotton mills at Tuscaloosa, Scottsville, and Prattville, the iron and coal works in Bibb and Shelby Counties, and the foundry and Government works at Selma and Montgomery. This whole country is open to a raid either from Corinth or Chattanooga, and the only protecting force that we are now aware of to meet a raid is General Roddey's brigade near Tuscumbia; this is not adequate to the protection of so huge and, as matters stand, so vital an interest as that above described. It should be increased at any and all hazards, or the loss to the Confederacy may be more than a victory in a pitched battle can ever repair. We have heard the suggestion made that the force should be increased by another cavalry brigade at least, and that some experienced officer who is familiar with that country and who enjoys its confidence should be put in command, and the name of General Gideon J. Pillow has been named in this connection. We beg leave to respond to both suggestions with cordiality, and to recommend that such a force be organized and confided to the command of that able and distinguished soldier.

CHARLES T. POLLARD.

F. M. GILMER, Jr.

WILLIAM B. GILMER.

G. W. GOLDTHWAITE.

JNO. D. PHELAN.

A. D. BANKS.

EDM'D HARRISON.

J. R. POWELL.

D. S. ARNOLD.

WILLIAM KNOX.

JAMES A. FARLEY.

W. G. FARLEY.

J. B. BETHEA.

WILLIAM B. BELL.

C. G. GUNTER.

J. H. WEAVER.

J. D. BIBB.

36 R R-VOL XXXII, PT II