Shelbyville Tenn. January 11th 1862
I wrote you a few days ago from Winchester and remarked that I expected to
return soon to this place. A few hours after I wrote, I was placed in command of
Wither's division in Polk's Corps and ordered to return to Shelbyville. Genl. Withers has
gone home sick on thirty days leave of absence.
I have little to add to what I wrote before. Am quite well, comfortably fixed in a
house, and the citizens appear anxious to do all they can to contribute to our comforts.
Genl. [Benjamin Franklin] Cheatham is in command of the Corps. I can give no further
particulars of the battles near Murfreesboro, having been on the march and counter march
ever since we left there. And it has been raining nearly all the time. Today however, the
sun shines out brightly, looking more like Spring than midwinter.
We do not expect another battle in this region this winter. We take Duck River as
a line of defence [sic], and feel confident that [Gen. William S.] Rosecrans, in his badly
shattered condition will not, nay cannot advance upon us. Indeed I think it more probable
that our cavalry under Morgan, Forrest, Wheeler & Wharton will so harass him in his
position about Murfreesboro that he will find it necessary to fall back to Nashville before
the 1st of March.
In assigning me to the command of Wither's Division, Genl. Bragg intimated that
it was to be a permanent thing, though I do not desire it or expect it really. I would prefer
the Brigade of Mississippians which I had in the Murfreesboro fight to any Division in
the Army. It is true it composes a part of the Division, but the other Brigades are not all
like it. Their conduct on the field has reflected additional lustre upon the arms of their
state, and has won for me the position now assigned me. Alone & unassisted they took
nine pieces of artillery and brought them off the field. I do not calculate on a Major
Generalship for the reason that there are already as many as there are Divisions for them
to command in. Love to Aunt Ellen. I wish I could spend a month at least with you all,
about this time. I think the peace plot thickens at the North. God grant it may come
speedily and honorably to us. Kiss Willie & The & Pat for me. Remember me to the
servants. A bushel of kisses for yourself from
Transcribed by Christopher A. Baker, University of Florida, 2008.