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[242] you may send me will really be placed in the best possible position for the defence of his own home and hearthstone.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. T. Beauregard, General C. S. A.

He also called upon General Bragg for what forces he could spare from Pensacola and Mobile, inviting him to come in person, if he could. A similar demand for troops he addressed to General Lovell, at New Orleans; and General Van Dorn was requested to join him at once, with ten thousand of his forces, from Arkansas, across the Mississippi. The following is the letter despatched to General Van Dorn. Its importance and historical value justify us in transcribing it here:

Jackson, Tenn., February 21st, 1862.
My dear General,—By the fall of the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers, the forces under General Polk (now to be under me) are entirely cut off from those under General A. S. Johnston, and must henceforth depend upon themselves alone for the defence of the Mississippi River and contiguous States; the fall of Columbus, and of Island No.10, must necessarily be followed by the loss of the whole Mississippi Valley, to the mouth of the Mississippi River. The fate of Missouri necessarily depends on the successful defence of Columbus, and of Island No.10; hence, we must, if possible, combine our operations not only to defend those positions, but also to take the offensive, as soon as practicable, to recover some of our lost ground. I have just called on the governors of Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi, for five thousand men from each State. I have fifteen thousand disposable for the field; if you could certainly join me, via New Madrid or Columbus, with ten thousand more, we could thus take the field with forty thousand men, take Cairo, Paducah, the mouth of the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers, and, most probably, be able to take also St. Louis, by the river. What say you to this brilliant programme which I know is fully practicable, if we can get the forces? At all events, we must do something or die in the attempt, otherwise, all will be shortly lost.

Yours truly and sincerely,

G. T. Beauregard, General C. S. A. Earl Van Dorn, Commanding, etc., Pocahontas, Arkansas.

P. S.—I expect also the co-operation of twelve gunboats from New Orleans. I will inform you of the governors' answers, as soon as received.


General Beauregard was of the opinion, and so expressed it, at the time, that the usefulness of Van Dorn's command would be greater east of the Mississippi than in the position it then occupied, and that New Orleans itself would be better defended by the concentration he was endeavoring to effect, than by any effort

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