Orders were accordingly issued on that day (7th), for the evacuation of Bowling Green, which was begun on the 11th and completed on the 13th. General Beauregard left at that date, for Columbus, via Nashville. But the lapse of time and the hurrying of events since his conference with General Johnston made him desirous of obtaining, before his departure, specific instructions as to the immediate disposition of the force at Columbus. General Johnston, he thought, might have modified his views; or he might have received now directions from the War Department, it being well known that the authorities at Richmond favored the holding of Columbus. He therefore wrote the following letter, recapitulating the expressed views of General Johnston as to the military situation, and adding the suggestion that Columbus should be abandoned altogether, as soon as Island No.10 could be made ready for defence; and that instead of his falling back to Humboldt, and thence to Grand Junction and other points in rear, he should hold the Louisville and Memphis and the Memphis and Charleston railroads, with Jackson as his centre, and Humboldt and Corinth as left and right flanks, with proper detachments at Iuka, Tuscumbia, and even Decatur; thus guarding his communications by the Memphis and Charleston Railroad with the east, as he apprehended incursions in advance of the enemy's main offensive movement in that direction, by the Tennessee River.
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