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[237] would have been sufficient for the defence of our principal rivers until reinforcements, in an emergency, could have been sent to their relief.

From Memphis, on the 18th, Governor Harris, of Tennessee, telegraphed General Beauregard to know his plans, saying that he had made similar inquiries of the President and Generals Johnston and Pillow, so as to enable him to rally at once all possible forces in Tennessee, and issue orders to them accordingly. He was requested to meet General Beauregard, with General Polk, at Jackson, on the 19th. His reply was that he had ordered out every man in the State who could be armed, but that he himself was compelled to go to Nashville. General Beauregard, thereupon, repeated his request, through General Polk, urging the advantage of the governor's visiting Jackson, where he arrived, accordingly, on the 20th. It was agreed between them that the State troops called out in west Tennessee should be directed to Jackson and Corinth, from which latter place General Ruggles's brigade was liable to be called, at any moment, to support General Polk, at or about Columbus. General Ruggles's brigade had been first ordered from New Orleans, by the Secretary of War, on February 8th, to report to General Beauregard at Columbus; but his communication of that date to General Johnston, having been referred to the former, and the evacuation of Columbus being then contemplated, General Beauregard, who had not yet directly assumed command, requested General Johnston, in accordance with his letter of the 12th, to order that brigade to Corinth; the immediate object being to protect that point and be within supporting distance of General Polk.

Meanwhile, General Johnston, followed by Buell's forces, had resolved to abandon Nashville. He began his retreat towards Stevenson, along the line of the Nashville and Chattanooga railroad, as in that event previously determined upon, and fully set forth in the memorandum of his plan of campaign, given in the preceding chapter, at page 220.

The following is General Johnston's letter to the War Department, in explanation of his future operations:

Headquarters Western Department, Nashville, February 18th, 1862.
Sir,—In conformity with the intention announced to the department, the corps under the command of Major-General Hardee completed the evacuation

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