War of the Rebellion: Serial 059 Page 0791 Chapter XLIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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a force entirely inadequate to resist a column of at least 20,000, the command preparing for the proposed movement. I hope I shall not again be subjected to the trial of feeling caused by having to deal with such a disparity of force; and I write respectfully to repeat the application I have already made to have my old division, now commanded by Major-General Cheatham, ordered to report to me. They are very anxious to come and I to have them. They consist now of about 4,000 effective, and I am confident if I had them I could in a short time run up their number to near double their present strength by getting out of West Tennessee a large amount of the absentees who until now have not been within reach.

General hood has three divisions and General Hardee has four. Cheatham's is one of those commanded by General Hardee. If I had that I would be content and would feel that I had a share at least of the troops available for the defense of this part of the general field, and some assurance of offering successful resistance to the proposed invasion of a State that has a claim to share in the common protection. Will you, Mr. President, allow me to press this upon your attention and ask you earnestly to let me have those troops? I am satisfied that, besides the direct movement on this department indicated above, there will be a heavy flank movement upon General Johnston via Decatur and Rome.

With the additional force asked for I could place myself in a position to strike the enemy in flank in turn. An amount of force equal to that asked for, it will be remembered, was taken from this department and assigned to General Johnston's Army of Tennessee when this department was not pressed. The existing condition of things should warrant their return. Besides it could be more useful to General Jonston from my point of attack than from his. I hope it may be sent me.

I remain, very truly and respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. POLK,

Lieutenant-General.

[Indorsement.]

APRIL 26, 1864.

Received and referred to General Bragg for perusal and remarks.

J. D.

I cannot concur in the general's apprehensions. The enemy cannot afford to dissipate his means in such an expedition. The transfer of the division to that locality would soon see another large portion of them on stolen horses marauding over the country.

BRAXTON BRAGG.

DEMOPOLIS, April 18, 1864.

Major General S. G. FRENCH,

Lauderdale:

General Polk desires you to move with your command from Lauderdale via Gainesville to Tuscaloosa, and there await orders.

THOS. M. JACK,

Assistant Adjutant-General.