Chapter 22: efforts to get arms and troops.
- Small resources and powers. -- Begging for arms. -- scant results and deficient armament. -- recruiting the army. -- concentration. -- requisitions for troops. -- obstacles. -- the Tennessee troops. -- condition of the men. -- embarrassments. -- twelve-months' volunteers. -- distant control. -- difficulties of the Government. -- call for militia. -- General Johnston's urgency. -- letters to the Southern Executives. -- appeals to the Secretary of War. -- Mr. Benjamin's letters.
It has already been shown that, when the Confederate troops advanced into Kentucky and established their line of operations, it was with the confident hope that the people of that Commonwealth would promptly join them in large numbers, and also that a strong army, rallied in the South, would speedily follow to support them. The first illusion was soon dispelled. The causes of inaction in Kentucky, already made sufficiently plain in Chapter XIX., continued, and destroyed the hope of any considerable accession of volunteers from that quarter. But the disappointment was even more grievous at the want of appreciation of the danger, and of the means necessary for defense, exhibited by the Gulf States. General Johnston fully foresaw the difficulties and dangers of his position, and his first steps on arriving at Nashville were to procure men and arms. It will be made manifest in this chapter that he neglected no lawful means to that end. In his address to the Memphis Historical Society, Colonel Munford, General Johnston's aide-de-camp, states the essential question, and answers it:
To those who ask why so able a man lost Kentucky and Tennessee, and seemed to fail, four words will answer, namely-he had no army.Colonel Munford then, in a powerful and convincing statement of facts, which the writer has largely followed, shows that this failure to assemble an army equal to the emergency was not due to General Johnston. While the writer will have occasion frequently to employ this interesting historical monograph, it is thought best to produce the original correspondence, which conclusively demonstrates that in no point of vigilance, decision, or energy, was General Johnston at fault. The narrative of military operations is therefore postponed, and the facts in regard to General Johnston's efforts to obtain men and arms are here grouped together, that the reader may arrive at his own conclusion as to where the responsibility rests. The only legal mode by which a Confederate general could raise troops or secure munitions of war was through the instrumentality of the State, or the General Government. Of his own motion he could do nothing. He had not the power to commission a lieutenant, to raise a company of soldiers, or to buy a gun, except through the intermediary channels of the civil service. Experience had taught General Johnston,  what subsequent events of the war proved to other generals, that the Southern people deeply resent any breach of legality; and, moreover, he was not the man to transcend his authority. Without compulsory power of enlistment, his only resource was to induce the Governors of States and the Confederate Administration to send him such force as he required. Before relating his efforts to raise troops, it will be proper to show the means used by General Johnston to procure arms. This will be best done, though at the risk of some prolixity, by an exhibit of his correspondence. He arrived at Nashville on the 14th of September; on the 15th he dispatched Messrs. T. H. Hunt and D. P. Buckner, who had been prominent members of the Kentucky State Guard, and were afterward distinguished officers in the Confederate service, as special messengers to obtain arms.1 The following letter was addressed to the Governor of Alabama, a duplicate being sent to the Governor of Georgia, and a similar communication to General Bragg, commanding at Pensacola:
Governor Brown made the following reply, from Atlanta, September 18th: 
The Governors of these two great States felt that their coasts were more immediately threatened, and that the defense of them was of more vital importance than an obscure and distant danger in Kentucky, and trusted to fortune for the protection of the postern to their citadel. General Bragg's reply discusses the aspects of the situation so well, for the most part, that it is here given entire:
But, that no stone might be left unturned to effect his object, the following dispatch was addressed by telegraph to the President, September 19th, from Columbus, Kentucky, by General Johnston, giving reports received from his agents in Georgia:
A steamer has arrived at Savannah with arms from Europe. Thirty thousand stand are a necessity to my command. I beg you to order them, or as many as can be got, to be instantly procured and sent with dispatch, one-half to Nashville, and the other to Trenton, on the Mobile & Ohio Railroad.The President replied as follows:
The Secretary of War replied thus, more fully, but even less satisfactorily:
Thus, it will be seen, the only immediate result of this appeal in so many quarters for armament was 1,000 stand of arms. Late in November, 3,650 Enfield rifles were received from the War Department. The Ordnance Bureau, ably conducted by Colonel Gorgas, used energetic measures to supply munitions of war, and eventually was quite successful in the importation of siege-guns, and in the purchase and manufacture of powder and other materiel. The chief defect was a lack of small-arms. This was never fully supplied so far as General Johnston was concerned, though he received some on the eve of the battle of Shiloh. The energetic steps taken by the State government of Tennessee, immediately after secession, now afforded a partial basis of supply. A percussion-cap factory had been started in Nashville by Mr. Samuel Morgan, a wealthy and patriotic citizen, and had done good work. Ordnance-shops and workshops had been established at Nashville and Memphis, which were transferred to the Confederate Government, and proved of the greatest service. Under the efficient command of Captains M. H. Wright and W. R. Hunt, everything possible, with the means at command, was accomplished. Twelve or fourteen batteries were fitted out at Memphis by the 1st of October. At the same date, the powder-mills at Nashville were making 400 pounds of powder a day, and this production was afterward largely increased. The State government of Tennessee cooperated with the Confederate authorities with the utmost zeal; and General Johnston often cordially acknowledged the aid received from this source. The Governor of Tennessee, Isham G. Harris, was a man of courage, decision, resource, and executive ability. Backed by the Legislature, he forwarded with untiring energy all of General Johnston's designs for recruiting and equipping an army. Laws were passed and enforced to impress and pay for the private arms scattered throughout the State, and the utmost efforts were employed to collect these rude and imperfect weapons, and to adapt them to military uses. Though far below the necessities of the occasion, the success of these efforts, under all the  circumstances, was admirable. The reports of Captain Wright, under whose direction the arms were altered and repaired, show the almost insuperable difficulties of equipping an improvised army. He says:
About one-fourth of the arms brought in were without lock or stock, much worn, and utterly worthless; and these weapons, generally fowling-pieces, squirrel-rifles, etc., were very poor in quality, even when put in order.The reports and inspection returns make it evident that, during most of the autumn of 1861, fully one-half of General Johnston's troops were unarmed, and whole brigades remained without weapons for months. Terry's Texas Rangers, one of the best-equipped and most efficient regiments at the front, report, October 30th, twenty varieties of fire-arms in their hands-shot-guns and Colt's navy six-shooters being most numerous. Other regimental reports show a similar state of things. This one circumstance, with the resulting confusion and diversity in ammunition, will indicate to any soldier a fruitful source of inefficiency and confusion. The Government could not arm its troops, because of the inability of its agents to procure sufficient serviceable arms in the markets of Europe. They were there before the agents of the North, but good arms were not for sale to any considerable extent. They, therefore, made contracts for their manufacture as rapidly as was practicable. They can hardly be blamed for not buying the condemned arms offered them. The war suddenly assumed an unexpected magnitude, and the blockade interrupted this traffic. When it is considered that the South was an agricultural country, the aptness, ingenuity, and resource it displayed in the development of the means of defense, astonished friend and foe alike. But neither by importation nor manufacture was the deficiency in number or quality of fire-arms remedied in General Johnston's lifetime. It was a constant obstacle to his success, preventing not merely military operations, but even the enlistment of troops. It has already been shown that General Johnston was confronted by a powerful force, while his own line of defense was merely masked by Buckner's and Zollicoffer's small commands. Hence, it became his first duty to organize an army for their support. The following pages will evince that he exhausted every legal means to that end. He comprehended the magnitude of the war, and the tenacity of the assailant, as well as any man on either side. His uniform utterances bore testimony to this fact. To a staff-officer, who spoke of the struggle as an affair of one campaign, he said, “It is more likely to be a seven years war.” His correspondence, his conversations, and his scheme of preparation, all prove his conviction of the formidable character of the contest. He was equally impressed with the necessity for prompt and  decisive action. He felt that, to meet the enemy, he required a large number of troops, and he required them at once. It will now be shown that his measures to recruit an army were not less energetic than his attempts to obtain arms and munitions of war. The urgency of his appeals for men was in singular contrast to the apparent apathy of the people. General Johnston's first step was to concentrate his men. Hardee's command was drawn in from Northeastern Arkansas, where it had been lying in the swamps for six months, sick and crippled, and was added to the nucleus of an army at Bowling Green. Terry's splendid regiment of Texan Rangers, which was detained in Louisiana, dismounted, was, at its own request and on General Johnston's application, allowed to report to him on condition that he would supply it with horses. It was brought to the front, and in November was on active picket-service. On Buckner's advance, about five hundred Kentuckians joined him at once; and the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Kentucky Regiments, were gradually formed and filled up. John Morgan, too, joined Buckner with a cavalry company, the origin of that famous command which so often carried consternation within the Federal lines. But, under existing arrangements, the main reliance for recruiting an army was the machinery of the State governments. In a letter of the same date with General Johnston's assignment to command, September 10th, the adjutant-general says to him:
You have authority to call for troops from Arkansas, Tennessee, and such portion of Mississippi as may be within the limits of your command. You have also authority to receive into the service such troops as may be offered from the States of Missouri and Kentucky, and to call on the naval service for such assistance and material of war, including boats, as may be required for the defense of the Mississippi River.General Johnston was further directed by the President, by telegram of the 13th, “to go by Nashville, confer with Governor Harris, and then decide upon the steps to be taken.” Acting in exact conformity with these orders, he made requisitions for 50,000 men-30,000 from Tennessee, 10,000 from Mississippi, and 10,000 from Arkansas. Had they been promptly furnished, how different might have been the result! The letter to Governor Harris is here given; those to Governors Pettus and Rector were identical, except in the number of troops named, the places of rendezvous, and the clause referring to conversations about arms, which was omitted.
The Arkansas troops were directed to be sent to the aid of McCulloch, for the defense of their own frontier. Major Howard, aide-decamp, was sent with orders conferring on McCulloch as large powers as General Johnston himself had for mustering, organizing, equipping, and supporting troops from Arkansas and Missouri; and he was directed to call on the supply-officers at Memphis for whatever he could not otherwise procure. All the Governors called on took steps to comply with the requisitions, but with what tardy and incomplete success will be seen hereafter. Governor Pettus, of Mississippi, sent two regiments, armed and equipped, immediately, and two more at a later date. But this source of supply was soon closed by the following correspondence. On the 16th of October the Secretary of War wrote the following letter to  General Johnston, disapproving of his requisition on Mississippi, though it had been made in accordance with the instructions given September 10th, and heretofore quoted:
General Johnston's reply was as follows:
In making the call for troops, I asked from the Governors of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas, respectively, as follows: Tennessee, 30,000; Mississippi, 10,000; Arkansas, 10,000-confining my call strictly to those States. The call upon Mississippi was small compared with that on Tennessee, as only a part of that State is within the limits of my department. I had no means of ascertaining the relative proportion of troops furnished before by each State, nor was I aware that instructions had been given Major- General Polk to refrain from making further calls upon Mississippi. I was desirous that the furnishing of the quotas should operate as little onerously as possible upon the several States of this department. The States, as far as I know, had previously furnished troops promptly to meet the exigencies of the Government, and I did not know that there had been any considerable disparity in proportion to population. I have asked for no troops from States other than those in this department. I have accepted the services of two regiments, by special authority of the War Department, and a few detached companies, without any special sanction, from (I believe) Alabama. Terry's regiment has joined; the other, De Yeuve's, from Louisiana, has not. I presume it could not be spared.Being thus excluded from Mississippi, and having ordered the Arkansas contingent to report to General McCulloch, General Johnston was confined to Tennessee as a recruiting-ground. All the departments of the State government entered zealously on the work, but the immediate  results hardly corresponded with their efforts. Colonel Munford says:
Up to the middle of November, General Johnston mustered in only three regiments, under this call.This, probably, does not include the men, waiting arms, in camp, when the call was made. Colonel Hamby, the Adjutant-General of Tennessee in 1876, estimated that his State contributed to that army, before the battle of Shiloh, thirty-two regiments of infantry, ten regiments of cavalry, fourteen companies of artillery, and three engineer companies — about 33,600 men, exclusive of some 6,000 men with Zollicoffer. But this estimate included the troops under General Polk. General B. R. Johnson, in charge of the organization of Tennessee troops in 1861, reported, on the 29th of November, that one hundred and twenty-seven companies had been raised under the call of 30,000 men, sixty-five of which were fully organized, and the remainder nearly ready. On Christmas-day he reported that 12,000 or 15,000 men had gone forward under the call. On the same day, Adjutant-General Whitthorne wrote him, estimating that fifty regiments were in the field from Tennessee. This must have included the troops in all quarters and in every stage of organization borne upon the rolls, militia as well as volunteers. On November 28th, Governor Rector, of Arkansas, reported five companies and a battalion as organized and ready to go to the support of McCulloch. About the same time, General Polk obtained, as a loan for a few weeks, from General Lovell, at New Orleans, two regiments, 1,500 strong. But the organization, equipment, and condition of these troops were not such as at any time to afford an effective force. It was not possible for the Confederate States to improvise army establishments. It was hard to clothe the soldiers properly. Inspection-reports, official correspondence, and the memories of men, testify how these poorly-clad volunteers bore the chilling nights of autumn and the drenching storms of winter without overcoats, often with but a single blanket. This poor and insufficient clothing added to the ravages of camp epidemics, especially of the measles, which severely afflicted this army. Thousands of recruits were prostrated at once, often to the extent of one-half of a. command, and of those who were furloughed as convalescents a heavy percentage did not return to their regiments. The commander at Hopkinsville reported that he had scarcely enough men well to do guard-duty. Under such circumstances, effective organization was seriously embarrassed. As it advanced, and discipline improved, many of the hardships incident to raw levies were mitigated, and a better state of things ensued; but some of the difficulties were never removed. The enthusiasm of revolution, which had drawn together its fiercest and most eager spirits to meet the first shock of arms, had begun to  subside. The victory of Manassas had begotten a vainglorious confidence; and the people, fondly dreaming that no necessity existed for extraordinary effort, did not urge their youth to the field. Those at the head of affairs could not arouse them to the peril of the situation and the necessity for action. In 1861 the South was exultant and careless. Ignorant of the requirements of the hour, and undisciplined by suffering, it wasted the period of preparation and the opportunity for success. Calamity was needed to stir it to its depths, and to rouse that spirit of resistance which proved equal to the sublimest efforts. A month after Buckner's advance, the army at Bowling Green numbered only 12,000 men, 4,000 of whom were obtained not from recruits, but from the transfer of Hardee's army to that point. In his letter of October 17th to the adjutant-general, given hereafter, General Johnston concludes thus:
I will use all means to increase my force, and spare no exertion to render it effective, at any point; but I cannot assure you that this will be sufficient, and, if reinforcements from less endangered or less important points can be spared, I would be glad to receive them.General Johnston had from the first felt the embarrassments of distant control in many minor matters. It now touched him in a point which he believed to be vital, and which proved so. On the 25th of October, more than a month after his requisitions on the Governors, the Secretary of War addressed him the following letter, laying down as the policy of the Confederate Government certain restrictions on enlistment that did as much to obstruct the organization of this army as any other assignable cause. M3r. Benjamin presents his line of action, and the reasons for it, with his accustomed force:
The circular accompanying this letter states: 1. No unarmed troops can be accepted for a less period than during the war. 2. Unarmed troops (infantry) offered for the war are accepted by companies, battalions, or regiments, and when mustered into service are ordered into camp of instruction until equipped for the field. General Johnston, on November 2d, issued orders to all mustering-officers, and wrote to the Governors, directing them to disband the unarmed twelve months volunteers, and informed the Secretary of his action. But, on the 5th, he wrote to him to say he would suspend the order for fifteen days. This was in consequence of Governor Harris's strong hope of arming these troops.  Colonel Munford, in his historical address already mentioned, sums up the consequences of Mr. Benjamin's order as follows:
General Johnston believed the war would be protracted, and wished to call out troops to serve during the war. He was advised, however, by leading men with whom he consulted, not to call for war-men; that the enemy had already a considerable army in the field in his immediate front, and were in such a state of forwardness with their preparations that it was all-important he should lose not a moment in getting troops; that to volunteer for twelve months was a habit familiar to the popular mind; that most of these men would reenlist if needed; and that his most successful course would be to follow what seemed the established practice .... The Governors of the three States promptly responded to the call, camps were established, and volunteering began. It progressed, however, much more slowly than was anticipated. It must be confessed that, after the first spasm of excitement upon the breaking out of the war, the popular ardor seemed to cool down. This fact was so clear, that General Johnston one day said to me: “I am disappointed in the state of public sentiment in the South. Our people seem to have suffered from a violent political fever, which has left them exhausted. They are not up to the revolutionary point.” I replied, “The logic of your remark, general, is that you doubt our success?” He looked at me gravely for a moment, and said, “If the South wishes to be free, she can be free.” Just at this juncture (the middle of November) an order was received from the Secretary of War, Mr. Benjamin, notifying General Johnston that no more twelve months volunteers would be armed by the Confederate Government, or mustered into service, and that he must communicate this information to the Governors of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas, that they might disband such volunteers of that description as were then in camps. He obeyed the order at once, though, for obvious reasons, he deeply regretted the necessity. In Arkansas and Mississippi the camps were at once broken up; but Governor Harris, of Tennessee, refused to comply, saying: “Not a man shall be released. If the Confederate Government has no use for them, I know Tennessee will soon need every one of them, and not a camp shall be broken up.” He also, through his adjutant-general, Whitthorne, addressed an energetic protest to the Government against the enforcement of the order. Many ill effects were produced by it. It not only extinguished General Johnston's hopes of being able to assume the offensive, or of even successfully maintaining the line of defense he had chosen, but lulled the country into a false sense of security at a time when it should have been roused as with a trumpet. It also caused it to be bruited abroad, and generally believed, that General Johnston had all the troops he wanted. It went from lip to lip, “He has notified the Governors that he will receive no more men.”General Johnston, as an old soldier, as a regular officer, was fully aware of the disadvantages of accepting twelve months volunteers. In his requisition he had said:
I prefer volunteers for the war, as securing better disciplined, more skilled, and more effective forces. But dispatch, now, is of the first importance; and, therefore, companies, battalions, and regiments, offering for twelve months will be at once received. It was a choice of evils. There was a wide-spread prejudice against an indefinite term of service. Thousands would enlist for twelve months where hundreds only would enlist for the war. But, having once entered the service, these same volunteers were retained in it, some by reenlistment for the war at the end of their term, the others by force of the conscript act. Even if General Johnston had made a mistake, it was one sanctioned by the practice and precedents of every State, and of every army in the field, and should have been overlooked by his superiors. The enforcement of the order annulled all of his arrangements for enlistment, unsettled the views of recruits, and delayed, and, it may even be said, prevented the organization of an army adequate to the emergency. General Johnston's hope lay in the rapid assemblage of a large army. The Administration hesitated at the expense of the force demanded, and at the difficulties of armament. It still relied on the achievement of independence through diplomacy. General Johnston trusted to the diplomacy of the sword alone. No censure is implied in these remarks on the Secretary of War, much less on the President. No man, no cabinet of councilors, is infallible. Differences of opinion exist among the wisest. In this case, they were inevitable from the different standpoints of the parties. The writer can bear testimony to the zeal, patriotism, and versatile talents, of Mr. Benjamin. Mr. Davis's cordial affection and confidence were too often and too clearly demonstrated for a doubt to rest upon the loyalty of his friendship to General Johnston. Nevertheless, both the importance and the danger of the situation in Tennessee were underestimated by the Confederate Government. The extreme Southern States entered on the war under the idea that, as the right of peaceable secession was theirs, no serious attempt at conquest would be made, and its political leaders adhered to this opinion till the vastness of the actual war dispelled the illusion. Mr. Davis, indeed, better foresaw the magnitude of the contest, and had predicted and endeavored to prepare for a long and great war; but at this time he was rather the chairman of a junta modeled for counsel instead of action, than the real ruler of the country. His marked individuality gradually asserted itself, but when he became permanent President it was too late. Hence we find the preparations for defense in 1861 by no means equal to the ability or opportunities of the South. But, apart from these general considerations, it was natural for the Administration to regard the defense of Tennessee as of secondary importance. The political reasons for holding the capital, the early pressure upon that point, and the great host marshaling under McClellan at Washington, induced the Government to hazard every other interest for the protection of Richmond. The Gulf States would  scarcely consider any other danger than that to their sea-coast, and this influence was so powerful at Richmond that troops were left in them to defend lines of no general importance. In a parliamentary and confederated government it is almost impossible to ignore local interests for the sake of the general welfare, even when all is at stake. If the President had left bare the coast to concentrate in Tennessee, he would have encountered the opposition of the State governments, alienation of sympathy in the exposed districts, and the hostility of Congress. It was a difficult problem. The Government had to conduct a great war and a political campaign at the same time. It was the error of the Administration not to have perceived that the defense of Tennessee was vital, and that it was in more immediate peril even than Virginia — that a stab in the back is as fatal as one in the breast. Still, it must be remembered that the Government was in great difficulties, and that the primary cause of want of troops was the apathy of the Southern people. It is no more than just to Mr. Benjamin to say that his letters to General Johnston convey the constant assurance of cooperation to the extent of his means; and, with his sanguine temper, the danger not being under his direct observation, he naturally expected these to be equal to the occasion when it should arise. Again, the fearful odds against the Confederacy required that heavy risks should be taken somewhere, and it was a matter of judgment, and to some extent of chance, where these could be best assumed. In a letter to Mr. Benjamin, November 15th, in allusion to these matters, General Johnston says:
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the reception of your telegram of this date, and to express the gratification which the announcement of soon being provided with a few thousand Enfield rifles affords me. I shall endeavor, as far as practicable, in the urgency for immediate armament, to give those arms into the hands of the troops for the war, who are now in service and not efficiently armed, and then distribute the remainder among the volunteers for shorter periods. I have not been able yet to ascertain how many men have joined the different rendezvous under the call upon the Governor of Tennessee; so far as heard from, I believe, not a large fraction of the number called, and very poorly armed. Under the belief that by proper exertions many of them might be furnished with arms, and at the request of the Governor, I suspended my order for mustering out the unarmed men, for fifteen days, in Tennessee. The call upon Mississippi not being approved, the order for the discharge of the unarmed there was not suspended; except for those at the rendezvous, I shall further extend the time to give the opportunity of arming them if possible.Thirty-six hundred and fifty rifles and 112,000 pounds of ammunition were soon after received.  But this condition of affairs could not continue. The military pressure became so great, and an increase of force so urgent, that further delay was impossible. All the information received, and all other indications, pointed to a speedy advance in force by the enemy. General Johnston determined, therefore, to attempt a levy en masse in his department, by a method always popular in those States-subject, however, to the condition prescribed by Mr. Benjamin's order in regard to arms. Accordingly, on November 19th, he made a requisition on Governor Harris:
To call forth every loyal soldier of the militia into whose hands arms can be placed, or to provide a volunteer force large enough to use all the arms that can be procured. A volunteer force is more desirable, if it can be raised as promptly as the militia, as more economical and producing less inconvenience to the citizen; but now time is of the first importance, that I may cover the homes of your citizens, and save them from the sufferings always attending an invasion.The same call was made on the Governors of Alabama and Mississippi. General Johnston requested also that the troops of North Alabama, and slave-laborers recruited in the same region, should be sent forward to Fort Henry, on the Tennessee River; thus indicating, as clearly as it was possible, that it was to guard its own gate that the military force of the State was drawn upon. On the 29th of November, General Johnston says to the secretary:
We are making every possible effort to meet the forces the enemy will soon array against us, both on this line and at Columbus. Had the exigency for my call for 50,000 men in September been better comprehended and responded to, our preparations for this great emergency would now be complete.At the close of an important letter, written to the secretary on Christmas-day, General Johnston uses the following language:
General Johnston did not permit the Executives of the Southern States to remain ignorant of his weakness and of the vast interests imperiled by a tardy or inadequate response to his demands. He made known to them the strength of the enemy, his own weakness, and the scope of his designs, with unreserved frankness. Under the pressure of distress, he was obliged to abandon that silence which is so important an element of military success, and disclose his entire situation in many quarters. It is proper to say, however, that no indiscretion enabled the enemy to profit by this. The following is his letter to the Governor of Mississippi:
A letter to the same purport was addressed to Governor Harris, with a full recognition of “the energetic and efficient cooperation” he had all along received from him. The following extract is from General Johnston's letter of January 5, 1862, to the secretary:
I desire to ask your attention to the vast and methodized preparation of the Northern Government to carry on the war against the Confederacy with a purpose as inflexible as malignant. Their large and well-appointed army, only now held back till the highest point of efficiency is attained by instruction and discipline, must make every patriot contemplate its forward movement with apprehension for the safety of the country, unless, awakened to the peril that menaces it, we make a corresponding effort to meet their forces and beat them back, by an immediate development and application of all the military resources of the South, both of material and men, to that purpose. The rapid and energetic concentration of the force of the country to meet the mighty exigencies of the present movement must be brought to bear to sustain our cause, which every one feels will justify every sacrifice for its attainment. In the great questions of liberty and national existence, the magnitude of them will, I hope, suggest to the wisdom of the representatives of the people the necessity of augmenting the Executive authority sufficiently to meet the occasion, which now urgently calls for its exercise. If necessary, let us convert our country into one vast camp of instruction for  the field, of every man able to bear arms, and fix our military establishment upon a permanent basis. Whenever a people will make the necessary sacrifices to maintain their liberty, they need have no fear of losing it. On the 5th of January, General Johnston was reinforced by Floyd's brigade, which, with Maney's brigade, was sent him from Western Virginia. On January 9th he dispatched Colonel Liddell, of Louisiana, of General Hardee's staff, in whom he had great confidence, with a letter of introduction to the President. He says, “Colonel Liddell is charged with a letter from me to the Secretary of War on a subject of vital importance to my command.” He also commends him as thoroughly and confidentially informed on the condition of things at headquarters. Colonel Liddell's mission was conducted with energy and tact, and was beneficial. But it was too late; one blow after another was struck with intelligence and vigor by the Northern commanders, and a series of misfortunes followed that will be narrated in their place. These two letters were evidently written as the last resort against the impending disasters:The stringency with which the Secretary of War enforced his order against twelve months volunteers may be inferred from the following correspondence:
It appearing in the correspondence that Colonel Gillespie's regiment had been raised under State, not Confederate authority, the secretary promptly revoked his order to disband it. His letter to Adjutant-General Whitthorne concluded as follows:
Pray present this apology to Governor Harris, and tell him that, if he knew the incessant and ingenious attempts to force by indirection the acceptance of twelve months unarmed men against the steady refusal of the department, he would not be surprised at any effort to repress promptly such disingenuous practices. General Johnston's letter, however, evoked no reply as to the other matters involved. The secretary had probably said in a former letter, of December 22d, all that he had to say on the subject. These are his words:It seems evident, from the foregoing correspondence, that General Johnston had lost no opportunity to press upon the authorities, State and Confederate, the whole truth in regard to his situation. He exhausted his legal powers in trying to raise men, and, though he failed in securing a sufficient force, his efforts were not without important results. But for the steps taken by him in the fall of 1861, it is probable that many of the battalions gathered at Shiloh would not have been in time to share in that battle.