Summary of Content: Beauregard, Confederate Commander of the Military District of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, writes to Van Dorn, Confederate Commander of the District of the Mississippi, Department #2. States that ”the fate of Missouri necessarily depends on the successful defense of Columbus & of Island no. 10, hence we must, if possible, combine our Operations not only to defend those positions, but also to take the offensive as soon as practicable to recover some of our lost ground ... At all events, we must do something or die in the attempt ... ” Informs Dorn that he requested 5,000 men from Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Expects the support of twelve gunboats from New Orleans. Labeled confidential.
Full Transcript: Confidential, Jackson Tenn 21st Feby 1862, My dear Genl, By the fall of the Tennessee & Cumberland Rivers, the forces under Gen Polk (now under me) are entirely cut off from those under Gen S A Johnston and must now depend upon themselves alone for the defense of the Mississippi River and contiguous states; the fall of Columbus and of Island No. 10 must necessarily be followed immediately by the loss of the whole Mississippi Valley to the mouth of the Mississippi River. The fate of Missouri necessarily depends on the successful defense of Columbus and of Island No. 10, hence we must, if possible, combine our operations not only to defend those positions, but also to take the offensive as soon as practicable to recover some of our lost ground. I have just called on the Governors of Tennessee, Louisiana, & Mississippi for 5.000 men from each State - I have 15.000 disposable for the field; if you could certainly join me, via New Madrid or Columbus, with 10.000 more, we could thus take the field with 40.000 men,  take Cairo, Paducah, the mouths of the Tennessee & Cumberland Rivers, and most probably be able to take also St Louis by the River! What say you to this brilliant programme? Which I know is fully practicable if we can get the forces. At all events, we must do something or die in the attempt, otherwise, all will be shortly lost., Your’s, truly & sincerely, G.T. Beauregard, Genl, C. S. A., Major Genl Earl Van Dorn, Commg. &, Pocahontas, Ark, P.S. , I expect also the cooperation of 12 gunboats from New Orleans. I will inform you of the Governors answers as soon as received. G.T.B.