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Dear Colonel, Your favor of the 9th inst. has been received. I regret much you did not come on from Lynchburg, for the rumors you refer to were all unfounded, and the matters General Johnston and myself had to communicate, through you, to the government, were of great importance being to provide for the very unfortunate contingency now existing here.
Moreover, I desired you to see for yourself and others the exact condition of things here, in justice to my own self; for I am taking the helm when the ship is already on the breakers, and with but few sailors to man it. How it is to be extricated from its present perilous condition Providence alone can determine, and, unless with its aid, I can accomplish but little. My health, moreover, has failed me completely lately. I was confined to my room by a wretched cold all the time I was at Bowling Green. It was the most unfortunate thing that could have happened to me ; for the loss of one or two weeks now is, or may be, most fatal to us. However, I am better now, and am hurrying on to my post as fast as possible. We must defeat the enemy somewhere, to give confidence to our friends. Large depots of provisions, ammunition, etc., ought to be provided for at Atlanta, Montgomery, and Jackson, Miss., etc.. without loss of time, for future contingency.
We must give up some minor points, and concentrate our forces, to save the most important ones, or we will lose all of them in succession.
The loss of Fort Donelson (God grant it may not fall) would be followed by consequences too lamentable to be now alluded to.
General Johnston is doing his best, but what can he do against such tremendous odds ?
Come what may, however, we must present a bold front and stout hearts to the invaders of our country.
In haste, yours truly,
Colonel R. A. PRYOR, Richmond, Va.
- Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
- The military operations of General Beauregard in the war between the States 1861 to 1865, including a brief personal sketch and a narrative of his services in the war with Mexico, 1846