The infantry for defense on the land-side of Mobile, amounts to but twenty-five hundred. I reported to the President in December that nearly twenty thousand additional troops were required in Mississippi. Since then, Grant's army has been heavily reenforced. Allow me to remind you, also, of what I have said of the length of time necessary for the transfer of troops, in any considerable number, from Mississippi to Tennessee. Those two departments are more distant from each other in time than Eastern Virginia and Middle Tennessee. In relation to detaching from General Bragg's army, permit me to remind you that I have been, for the last two months, asking the department to strengthen it, and representing it as too weak to oppose the powerful army in front of it with confidence. On that account, Major-General Van Dorn's cavalry was added to it. Dividing that army might be fatal to it. Major-General Jones reported some time ago that the enemy was sending troops from the Kanawah Valley. Soon after, our friends about Nashville informed General Bragg that Major-General Cox had arrived with his division from Western Virginia, and a little later that Major-General Siegel's division had also joined Rosecrans. I therefore suggested that the troops which had been opposed to those in Virginia should be sent to General Bragg without delay. Allow me to repeat that suggestion.
Most respectfully, Your obedient servant, J. E. Johnston, General.
Mrs. Bragg's critical condition, I shall not now give the order for which I came. The country is becoming practicable. Should the enemy advance, General Bragg will be indispensable here.
J. E. Johnston, General.