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[267] by letter on the 16th of the same month: ‘I design, to-morrow, to take possession of Bowling Green with 5,000 troops.’ These troops were under command of General S. B. Buckner, who had at his instance been made Brigadier-General. General Zollikoffer was ordered with 4,000 troops to advance and take up his position at the Cumberland Gap. General Leonidas Pork was already in command of the left wing of the army at Columbus, Ky. General Johnston made his headquarters at Bowling Green, the centre of his extended command, stretching from Cumberland Gap along the Barren river, to the Mississippi, on the left.

General Johnston had an available force to defend this entire line of only about 19,000 men. There was opposed to him, under the ablest leaders of the Union, General Anderson, his early friend at West Point; General Grant, who had seized Paducah, Ky.; General W. T. Sherman, General Thomas and General Wm. Nelson, aggregating a force of 34,000 volunteers.

General Johnston, by exaggerating his force and a skillful disposition of it, held against fearful odds this extended line for months, until the fall of Forts Donelson and Henry necessitated the removal of his army further south to protect the valley of the Mississippi. Bowling Green had to be evacuated and Nashville left unprotected— Nashville and the State of Tennessee. It was at this time that General Johnston was subjected to that which wounded his sensitive nature to the quick. The public, uninformed as to his real force, thinking it as large as he had been glad to impress the enemy it was, ignorant of the fearful want of arms an ammunition, they blamed him for leaving Nashville and Tennessee unguarded, and the Confederate delegation in Congress, save one man, marched in a body to the President, led by Gustavus A. Henry, and demanded his removal, and that a General should be appointed to defend their homes and firesides. Mr. Davis listened to the appeal with downcast eyes and saddened heart, knowing well the worth and soldierly qualities of him of whom they spoke. He raised his eyes and replied to them: ‘If Albert Sidney Johnston is not a General, the Confederacy has none to give you.’ By forced marches, his number diminished by disease, he effected a juncture with General Beauregard at Corinth, Miss., and on the 6th day of April, 1862, twenty-one years ago, fought the last and greatest battle of his life, and laid down that life for the cause to which he had given his heart and his sword. I will not attempt to go into the details of this great battle. General Beauregard says, in his report: ‘The remnant of the enemy's army ’

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April 6th, 1862 AD (2)
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