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The enemy are in possession of Nashville in force — a part of which is eight miles on this side of the city.
With great respect, your obedient servant, (Signed) A. S. Johnston, General C. . A. Hon. J. P. Benjamin, Secretary of War, Richmond.
Colonel (afterward Major-General) William Preston, then acting on General Johnston's staff as a volunteer aide, enjoyed as free an intercourse with him as any one could.
Not long after General Johnston's death, in a letter (dated April 18, 1862) to the present writer, he gave a succinct but clear account of the campaign.
The following is an extract from it:
Nashville was indefensible.
General Johnston withdrew to Murfreesboro, determined to effect a junction with Beauregard, near Corinth.
His two chief staff-officers, Colonels Mackall and Gilmer, deemed it impossible.
He collected Crittenden and the relics of his command, with stragglers and fugitives from Donelson, and moved through Shelbyville