OR, Series 1, Vol. 7, Page 889

Tuscumbia, Ala., February 17, 1862
J. P. Benjamin
   The Kentucky line of defenses has been lost, with a large part of our army. The line from Memphis to Virginia must now be defended at all hazards. To do this we must have armies at Corinth and Knoxville. To supply these armies, what remains of Johnston's forces, Columbus, the Gulf, the seaboard, and Virginia must be drawn; better lose the seaboard than this line. The Memphis & Charleston Road is the vertebrae of the Confederacy, and there are no troops for its defense. In a week the enemy can threaten it from Eastport, within 8 miles, and Hamburg, within 22 miles, with 50,000 men, unless large forces are immediately sent to its protection. The people will abandon the country to the occupation of the enemy.
   With great respect I suggest these views, and urgently ask for immediate action.
L. P. Walker