Head Quarters Dist of Jackson
12th November 1862
His Excy Andrew Johnson
Communication being now opened with Nashville, I think it advisable to lay before you some suggestions in relation to the state of affairs in this part of the country. Recent successes of our arms and the advance of our troops have quieted apparently the spirit of resistance and I think the General feeling west of the Tennessee is to submit to the constitution and the law, to discourage guerilla [sic] warfare and to come as rapidly as possible under the new administration of organized civil Law. There is a strong feeling in favor of an election of Representatives to Congress. This I submit if done must de done by proclamation from you.
Judge Williams attempted to hold a court but as I learned he was not commissioned by you I closed the court. [sic] many [sic] of the sheriffs now in office are not reliable, but can only be removed and other appointed through you.
I take the liberty of recommending that you proceed as soon as practicable to organized the several Departments of state authority so that the people as speedily as may be may come under the customary course of law and settle down into regular habits.
This will be a work of extreme delicacy and should be confined to some person of undoubted loyalty and high personal character. Any protection if required from the military power within my District will always be ready for carrying out such measures as you Knolwedge [sic] of the men and the country may dictate.
I have the honor to be Your most obedt servant
Major General Comdg. Dist of Jackson.
[Stephen A. Hurlbut]
Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 6, pp.51-52.
12, "They state that the soldiers are without shoes, without clothes, without blankets, and without tents." The Needful Army of Mississippi
Clothing for the Soldiers.
Much misapprehension exists throughout the country in regard to the condition of the army under Gen. Bragg, which has recently returned to Tennessee, from Kentucky. It has been given out by those who are desirous of making it appear that the campaign into Kentucky was a success, that the army, unable to hold the State, had not returned until an immense amount of clothing, shoes and provisions had been gathered up, sufficient, according to some estimates, to provide for the forces in Virginia, as well as the army of the West. In this view of the case the people were called upon to abstain from censuring Gen. Bragg in consequence of his precipitate retreat. The truth of the matter is, however, gradually reaching the public, and it now begins to be generally understood that the army has returned to Tennessee in a miserable condition so far as regards clothing. Officers have been detached and sent to all portions of the country, to urge upon the people the importance of making strenuous exertions to provide for the wants of the suffering soldiers. They state that the soldiers are without shoes, without clothes, without blankets, and without tents. Their statements are corroborated by letter writers from the army, and there can be no doubt that thousands of our soldiers are today shivering among the mountains of Tennessee without the necessary covering to protect them from the snow and sleet. It is very probable that Gen. Bragg has succeeded in securing a considerable amount of cloth out of which to make clothing for the soldiers, and no time should be lost in getting it manufactured, but when this is accomplished, there will still remain thousands in a destitute condition. It is well to hold those who are responsible for the failure of this campaign into Kentucky to a strict accountability, but while bestowing censure where it is deserved, it should not be forgotten that the soldiers who are suffering are not blamable for the situation in which they find themselves. [added emphasis] They have done the best they could, and justice to them, as well as a due regard for the cause in which we are all engaged should induce every man and woman in the Confederacy to lend a helping hand. The soldiers need blankets, and while we are aware that the people of this country contributed liberally last winter of their stock, we know that there are still many thousands of pairs which can and will be dispensed with when their owners are satisfied how greatly they are desired by the soldiers. A lady correspondent suggests that the blankets be given and their places supplied with comforts. She appears to think, and we agree with her, that these articles, which can be manufactured in almost every family, will be much more comfortable than the blankets, if the owners have the satisfaction of knowing that the latter are being used by the soldiers to protect them from the rude blasts of winter. The same correspondent suggests that the blankets now used in the hospitals can be taken and their places advantageously supplied with comforts. The suggestion is worthy of consideration, and we commend it to those who have charge of such matters.
In regard to shoes, we have strong hopes that the Government of this State, as well as that of other States, will adopt measures to procure at once, all the leather possible, and have it made up for the use of this army. In no other way can we obtain a supply. For other articles needed by the soldiers, such as jackets, pantaloons, shirts, undershirts, drawers, and socks, we must in a great measure depend upon the individual efforts of those who are out of the army. To the noble, true hearted women of the country the soldier's appeal for help, and we know they will not appeal in vain. To the extent of their ability they may be depended upon to aid in clothing our naked soldiery. The men who remain at home have a duty to perform, and we trust they will not be at all backward. There are thousands of soldiers far away from their own States who will be compelled to depend upon the people of other States for supplies. They are entitled to aid should receive as much assistance as those who are more favorably circumstanced.
Montgomery Weekly Advertiser, November 12, 1862.