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[511] We believe here there is a great deal of truth in it; if so, you must be careful not to be separated from us by the enemy's forces getting between us, at or about Tuscumbia. Hence, you must spread the rumor that the main body of your forces is going to Chattanooga by railroad, via Decatur, to deceive the enemy at Nashville; for we must try to keep Buell away from us until we can get through with Grant and Halleck's other forces.

I send you, herewith, my notes of reference, to give you a clear insight into our position here. McCown is at Island No.10 and New Madrid, with about 7000 effectives. Polk has at Humboldt and Union City about 7000 more. Bragg will have soon at Corinth about 10,000, at Grand Junction about 5000, and at Fort Pillow about 2500. Ruggles, at Corinth, about 3000; and Chalmers, at Iuka, about 2500. In all, nominally, 37,000 men, less 9500 on river, leaves for the field about 27,500, possibly 30,000 men; but not all very efficient. I cannot get competent brigadier-generals from the department, although I have written and telegraphed four times on the subject.

I am still unwell, but am doing the best I can. I nominally assumed the command yesterday.

Yours truly,

Headquarters army of Mississippi Valley, Jackson, Tenn., March 6th, 1862.
Dear Sir,—As my neighbor, as the Senator representing my State and section, I take the liberty of addressing you this note; and beg, for the good of our common cause and the safety of our country, that you will use what influence you possess, with the government at Richmond, to see that my general (General Beauregard) receives some support from that quarter.

Before leaving Manassas, by his dictation, I wrote a letter which he afterwards copied and signed, in which he informed the Secretary of War that he would require good officers to be appointed as brigade commanders, suggesting certain officers whom he knew to be competent; not one of whom have been appointed or any others ordered to report to him.

Of what service can the very best of generals be if he has not those under his command who are competent to carry out his orders?

The different brigades of the division of the army under General Polk are commanded by senior colonels, who themselves have only recently taken up the profession of arms. Those regiments require all their time and attention; and they themselves, in many instances, do not feel competent to the command. This has been strikingly illustrated in the recent evacuation of Columbus. Officers commanding brigades and regiments have become entirely separated from the main body of their commands, and knew not where to find them; they, themselves, running to the commanding general when they should have been with their men.

The following officers are some of whom he desired as brigadiers: Colonel Charles Winder, 6th South Carolina regiment; Colonel Samuel Garland, 11th Virginia regiment; Colonel A. P. Hill, 13th Virginia regiment; Colonel Ransom,

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