Confidential.McDowell is approaching, of which there can be no doubt, we must fight very soon. Every man we have should be here. Major-General Holmes's troops should, therefore, be ordered to Richmond forthwith — they may be wanted to-morrow. I have more than once suggested a concentration here of all available forces. Huger.
Special Order No. 225, of this date. If I have been correctly informed, the forces which it places under my command are greatly inferior in number to those of the enemy's opposed to them, while in the Trans-Mississippi Department our army is very much larger than that of the United States. Our two armies on this side of the Mississippi have the further disadvantage of being separated by the Tennessee River and a Federal army (that of Major-General Grant), larger, probably, than either of them. Under such circumstances, it seems to me that our best course would be to fall upon Major-General Grant with the troops of Lieutenant-Generals Holmes and Pemberton united for the purpose-those of General Bragg cooperating, if practicable. The defeat of Major-General Grant would enable us to hold the Mississippi, and permit Lieutenant-General Holmes