is stated far below what I have estimated it; and, with a knowledge of the case as he presents it, I had left but the choice of difficulties — the great probability of defeat at Columbus or a successful advance of the enemy on my left.
At Donelson or Henry. I have risked the latter.
The first would be a great misfortune, scarcely reparable for a long time; the latter may be prevented.
I have, however, at Nolin, on my front, about twenty-seven regiments, and a large auxiliary force at Columbia, on my right.
The force on my front will await the success of movements on my left.
My force must soon be put in motion.
I am making every preparation with that object.
It has taken much time to provide transportation (which is nearly accomplished), and all else, for a force suddenly raised.
A portion of my force is well armed and instructed; the remainder badly armed, but improving in all other respects.
A good spirit prevails throughout.
General Zollicoffer is taking measures