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[415] be shorter to go up the Ohio in them. To keep the command of Cincinnati, I would construct a strong work, heavily armed, at Covington.

Now, for the operation of Western Tennessee. The object should be to drive the enemy from there and resume the command of the Mississippi River. For these purposes I would concentrate rapidly at Grand Junction Price's army, and all that could be spared from Vicksburg of Van Dorn's. From there I would make a forced march to Fort Pillow, which I would take with probably only a very small loss. It is evident that the forces at Memphis and Yazoo River would then have their line of communication by the river with the North cut off, and they would have either to surrender or cross without resources into Arkansas, where General Holmes would take good care of them. From Fort Pillow I would compel the forces at Corinth and Jackson, Tennessee, to fall back precipitately to Humboldt and Columbus, or their lines of communication would be cut off also. We would then pursue them vigorously beyond the Mississippi at Columbus, or the Ohio at Paducah. We would thus compel the enemy to evacuate the State of Mississippi and Western Tennessee, with probably the loss on our part of only a few hundred men. General Price could then be detached into Missouri to support his friends, where his presence alone would be worth an army to the Confederacy.

The armament and ammunition of the works referred to should be collected, as soon as possible, at Meridian and Chattanooga. Such are the operations which I would carry into effect, with such modifications as circumstances might require, if the President had judged proper to order me back to the command of that army which I had, with General Bragg's assistance, collected together and organized, and which I had only left to recover my shattered health, while my presence could be spared from it, and until he informed me that it was ready to take the offensive.

Hoping for its entire success, I remain, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

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

Hardly a week had elapsed after the foregoing communication was forwarded to Richmond, when the Hon. Thomas J. Semmes and the Hon. Edward Sparrow, Members of Congress from Louisiana, called by agreement, with their colleagues, on President Davis, to present to him a petition, signed by nearly sixty Senators and Representatives from different States of the Confederacy. It is a paper of great interest, giving additional information upon the subject which occupies our attention:

To the President of the Confederate States:

Sir,—The undersigned Senators and Representatives in Congress from the Western and Southwestern States have learned with pleasure that General Beauregard, restored in health, has reported for duty, and that he has been assigned to the command of South Carolina and Georgia. They have also been reliably informed that the General is anxious and eager to return to the command

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