Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/58

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mand, numbering 1,466, besides a detachment of 230 men on their way to destroy Rome.

In January, 1864, the condition in northern Alabama was such as to evoke an appeal to the war department by the congressional delegation of the State. It is here quoted in full:

The undersigned, senators and representatives from the State of Alabama, respectfully invite the attention of the Honorable Secretary of War to the consideration of a few suggestions relative to the present condition of North Alabama, and the necessity of permanently holding the south side of the Tennessee river in that State.

You are aware that the enemy now claim and hold all the country in said State north of said river; that river, running through the entire width of the State from east to west, is both deep and wide, difficult to be crossed by an enemy, and is now the dividing line between us and our foes. Brigadier-General Roddey, with his command, is guarding a portion of the south side of the river; but to enable him to do so more effectually, and to protect the country from the enemy at Corinth, Miss., and also to draw supplies for our army from Middle Tennessee, which he is expected to do, he will require a much larger force than he now has under his command. A glance at the map of the country will satisfy any one that if the raiding parties of the enemy be permitted to cross the river, there is no natural barrier to prevent him from sweeping as low down the country as the Alabama river, penetrating that region of the State in which are located the mining and manufacturing establishments now getting into successful operation, and which it is believed are and will continue to be of great benefit to our cause.

To protect our people against such calamity as would result from the incursions of the enemy, we deem it of the utmost importance that Geueral Roddey's command be retained in its present locality, and that he be permitted to increase his force from the adjacent country and from the region within the line of the enemy, and that he have returned to his brigade five companies of Alabama troops now under the command of Major-General Forrest. These companies were all raised by General Roddey, mostly within the enemy's lines and who entered