On March 5, 1862, Confederate General P. G. T. Beauregard issued a letter to his soldiers announcing he was assuming command of the Army of the Mississippi.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Jackson, Tenn., March 5, 1862.
SOLDIERS: I assume this day the command of the Army of the Mississippi, for the defense of our homes and liberties, and to resist the subjugation, spoliation, and dishonor of our people. Our mothers and wives, our sisters and children, expect us to do our duty even to the sacrifice of our lives.
Our losses since the commencement of this war in killed, wounded, and prisoners are now about the same as those of the enemy.
He must be made to atone for the reverses we have lately experienced. Those reverses, far from disheartening, must nerve us to new deeds of valor and patriotism, and should inspire us with unconquerable determination to drive back our invaders.
Should any one in this army be unequal to the task before us, let him transfer his arms and equipment at once to braver, firmer hands, and return to his home.
Our cause is as just and sacred as ever animated men to take up arms, and if we are true to it and to ourselves, with the continued protection of the Almighty, we must and shall triumph.
G. T. BEAUREGARD,