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56
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Executive Department;
Montgomery, Alabama, Febr 20th 1862
Capt. T. B. Bethea, Montgomery.
My dear Sir,
I learned, a few days since, that the Company under your command,
had been accepted by Maj-Genl Bragg, for the defense of Mobile - not for
the War - but for such a term - only - as he might deem your services
necessary. No one can appreciate - more highly than myself, the patriotic
motives which have induced the tender, on the part of yourself - & the
Gentlemen who are associated with you; but you will excuse me for saying
that under existing circumstances, I believe you could render more
efficient service, in another direction; and, also, that I am satisfied,
for the reasons stated by me, in a letter to Hon. A. Benners - a copy of which
I enclose - that the receiving of your Company would have an
injurious - rather than a beneficial effect - just now, upon the 3 year enlistment
^under my proclamation, of the 12th instant.^

Entertaining these views - you will excuse my addressing
and - respectfully - requesting you to withdraw your tender -
for the present. Very Respy
Yr. Ob't Ser't
(Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department.
Montgomery, Alabama. Febr 20th 1862
Messrs W. H. Horton, & others, Comm' Union Town, or Demopolis,
Gentlemen,
I have the pleasure to acknowledge your
communication, calling my attention to the erection of batteries on the
Tombigbee river - above the junction

Some days before the date of your letter, I had deemed it my duty,
in anticipation of the possibility of a successful movement being made
on Mobile, by the Enemy, to submit to Maj-Genl Bragg the
propriety of meeting such a contingency, and protecting the River-
counties, by the erection of batteries - and the placing of obstructions above that
point. The question recd his full consideration, and he came to the
conclusion - I believe - correctly - that the points - above Mobile, which were
the most essential to secure, were Blakely & Fort Stoddard. Two
hundred negro-fellows have been sent to each of these points, with
provisions - and under competent overseers, to assist in the erection of the
Defenses. From the information I have recd, I think it probable that the citizens
of your County should be prepared to send - at the shortest notice - at least
200 able-bodied negro-slaves - with spades - shovels - axes. &c and provisions.
as well as the right kind of men to take charge of them. These Slaves
may not be needed, but it is best to have them ready, that no time shd
be lost if their services are required. We have waited & dallied too long.

Our difficulty lies in the want of cannon - the heaviest sort of long-
range - Cannon - to enable us to cope with the superior ordnance the
Enemy have. We have got to concentrate all our strength at one or two
points on the river; we must bind all our faggots to-gether. With our
means - it would be folly to put two guns at this point - three at another
&c. We have not got - and can't get the guns, to defend every point, with,
and, therefore, cannot afford to dissipate our strength. I trust
Marengo is sending-forth her Volunteers, under the recent requisition.
There is not time to lose; a month's - or even, a week's delay may be
fatal.
Very Respy
Yr obt Ser't
(Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

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