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[491] end, I was directed to consult the President on the propriety of the measure, and, in case he should approve it, I was requested to solicit your own acquiescence in the transfer.

The President having avowed his readiness to order you West, on the oondition that you were not averse to the change, I went to Centreville to obtain your consent. I remember you evinced the greatest reluctance to be detached from the Army of the Potomac, but, yielding at last to my earnest importunities, urged with an exclusive reference to the public interest, and supported by the written entreaties and arguments of representatives from the States chiefly concerned, you were pleased to give a qualified assent to the proposed transfer. What your conditions were, I find it impossible, after so long a lapse of time, to recollect with sufficient particularity to affirm with an absolute assurance of correctness. My impression, however, is that they were such as you represent. Whatever they were, I understood the Honorable Secretary of War to agree to them, and I telegraphed you accordingly. In reply you asked for orders.

As well as I am able to recollect the details of an affair so long past, and which, until the present moment, I have had no occasion to recall, this, General, is a correct statement of the circumstances of your transfer from the Army of the Potomac to the Army of West Tennessee and Kentucky.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Centreville, Va., Jan. 25th, 1862.
Dear General,—Yours just received; I will be on hand as directed.

I have received a telegram from Pryor which says I must go temporarily to Columbus. Much fear is entertained of the Mississippi Valley. I have authorized him to say Yes. I will be back here as soon as possible.

I will not leave until you are back.

Yours, etc.,


Confederate States of America, War Department, Richmond, 26th Jan., 1862.
Sir,—Colonel Pryor has reported to the President, as the result of his interview with you, that you would cheerfully accept the command of the defences at Columbus, Ky., and that your absence from the Army of the Potomac, at the present time, would not seriously impair its efficiency.

He, therefore, desires that you proceed at once to report to General A. S. Johnston at Bowling Green, Ky., and thence proceed, as promptly as possible, to assume your new command at Columbus, which is threatened by a powerful force, and the successful defence of which is of vital importance.

You are authorized to take with you your present staff, or such members of it as you wish to accompany you. I am, your obedient servant,


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