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[187] ard Tennessee since I assumed command, I have the honor to subscribe myself with great respect, Your obedient servant,

A. S. Johnston, General C. S. A.
Five thousand men, Bowen's division, will leave Columbus for this place to-day.

Adjutant-General's Office, Nashville, Tennessee, December 31st, 1861.
General A. S. Johnston:
Dear Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of letter of 25th instant. Upon its receipt I immediately appointed energetic agents to collect laborers in this and adjoining counties to construct the fortifications near Nashville, but I must say that the response to my appeal for laborers has not thus far been as flattering as I had wanted and expected. 1 shall have within a very few days some 200 negro men at this work, and hope soon to increase this number to 500 or 600. Telegraphed you the same day your letter came to hand, asking how many laborers you thought necessary, about what length of time they would be employed, and what engineer would supervise and control the work. Answers to which would have aided me in securing the laborers, but have as yet received no reply. I fully appreciate the exigencies by which you are, surrounded, and, as I have heretofore, I shall continue to use every effort within my power, and all resources at my command to strengthen your position and to secure the country from invasion. In order, however, that the present resources of the State may not be overestimated, it is proper that I give you at least an approximate idea of them and some of the difficulties which I encounter at every step. Tennessee has now organized and in the field, in addition to some independent companies, 52 infantry regiments and one battalion, nine battalions of cavalry, and two regiments of artillery; volunteer companies are now in camp, under orders to move to rendezvous, sufficient to form six additional infantry regiments and two battalions of cavalry, making the whole force about sixty-six regiments. This force, large as it is, is drawn almost entirely from two divisions of the State, the unfortunate political dissensions in East Tennessee, with near

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Albert Sidney Johnston (2)
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December 31st, 1861 AD (1)
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