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[513] am better, but the least excitement throws me back. We must cheer up, however. With good troops and enough of them, there is a chance, at this moment, of making a beautiful ten strike, but it would be risking too much in the present condition of affairs; we would lose too much if I failed. The problem here is very difficult. I have to look to the safety of this army and yet keep the Mississippi River closed; the latter a most difficult undertaking with our present means. By-the-bye, there were six brigades in Polk's army without brigadier-generals, commanded by colonels according to rank. You may imagine what kind of commanders some of them make, and what kind of brigades they have!

I enclose you copy of a telegram sent this day to the War Department. My kind regards to friends.

Yours truly,

Subsequent information leads me to believe Bethel station preferable to Mc-Nairy's. Pittsburg, on Tennessee River, is a good point of observation.

Substitute Bethel for McNairy's station as rendezvous.

Jackson, Tenn., March 2d, 1862.
To Genl. A. S. Johnston, Stevenson, Ala. (or on road from Murfreesboro):
See Memphis Appeal of yesterday for movement of enemy's troops per steamboats, taken from Cincinnati Enquirer. Hurry on your troops per railroad to Corinth.

Send 9th and 10th Mississippi and 5th Georgia regiments, if possible, under Brigadier-General J. R. Jackson, to Corinth, so as to reunite the Pensacola army under Bragg here.

Telegrams of 2d received. Send 10th Mississippi by rail from Chattanooga. This army will move as rapidly as it can march. Can't obtain Memphis papers of 1st.

W. W. Mackall, A. A. Genl.

Headquarters Western Department, Fayetteville, March 5th, 1862.
General,—Your letter of 2d inst. has been received by General Johnston. He

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