all the governors of the States, and the Confederate forces which were expected to hold the line of the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers were sadly inadequate.
Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, of Kentucky, coming from California in the spring of 1861, after refusing the highest command in the United States army, was the first to receive at the hands of the Confederate States the lofty rank of general, and, with full confidence in his splendid military talent, was assigned on September 10th to the command of the vast field of operations west of the Alleghany mountains. In spite of the weakness of his resources in men and munitions he at once resolved upon a bold policy, and established a line of defense, with his left at Columbus, Ky., his right at Cumberland Gap, and his center at Bowling Green.
On November 20, 1861, Governor Pettus, in a special message to the legislature, transmitted to that body telegrams received from Governor Harris of Tennessee and Generals Pillow and Polk at Columbus, Ky., informing him of the threatened attack on Columbus by a large force of the enemy, and asking for such assistance as Mississippi might be able to send. The governor was immediately authorized to call out 10,000 men for sixty days’ service; to provide themselves with double-barreled shot guns or hunting rifles, clothing, blankets and cooking utensils. For the equipment, support and payment of these troops the legislature appropriated such money as might be in the treasury not otherwise appropriated. The military board of Mississippi, then sitting, ordered the troops to rendezvous at Grenada and Corinth. Those rendezvousing at Corinth were placed by the governor under the command of Gen. Reuben Davis, and those at Grenada under the command of General Alcorn. General Alcorn and his men were stationed subsequently at Hopkinsville, Ky., where they suffered greatly from the wintry weather and the measles, but were afforded no opportunity to do active service before their disbandment.