Report of Brig. Gen. John B. Floyd, C. S. Army.
Chattanooga, Tenn., March 11, 1862.Sir: In obedience to orders given me by General A. S. Johnston, in which he directed that I should occupy this place and thereafter report directly to the War Department, I have the honor to state that I reached here safely with my command from Nashville, after a long but prosperous march, on the 8th day of this month. We succeeded in bringing away from Fort Donelson nearly the whole of the men belonging to my own brigade who were there; and although the fatigue and privations of a large number of them were unusually great, the men uttered no complaint, and are now, at the end of a march of 250 miles, in good health and excellent spirits. This point is one of very considerable military importance, as it commands important passes into Georgia and Alabama, and would enable the enemy, if he held it, to cut off completely the communications between the eastern and western parts of this State. General Johnston authorized me to receive such troops as might be offered for the defense of this place and who would enlist for the war. It will require, I should think, a force of about 6,000 men to secure this point from attack, except by a very heavy force, and I do not see how this number of men can be raised by any influence I can bring to bear. I would like to have instructions from the Department for my government. From the best information I have I am under the impression that the enemy have moved nearly all their forces to the Mississippi River, probably for the purpose of attacking the troops defending Memphis. I am pretty confident there will be no attack here, or even at Knoxville, for some considerable time to come. From the same sources of information I think the force against Cumberland Gap is neither numerous nor efficient. If these opinions be correct, it gives time for organization to meet their advance upon both points, which will no doubt be made by the enemy in great numbers as soon as the heats of summer drive them from the farther south. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,