I fell asleep yesterday working on your letter so did not have it completed in time. I beg you forgive the cramped style of the following.
20 November was a day that once again saw multiple skirmishes throughout the western department. There were two in Missouri; one at Butler, the other Little Santa Fe. Skirmishing also took place in Brownsville, Kentucky.
21 November saw Judah P. Benjamin named by President Davis as the next Secretary of War. He replaced LeRoy Pope Walker, a native Alabaman.
The appointment of Brigadier General Lloyd Tilghman as commander of the yet-unfinished Forts Henry and Donelson, (one on the Tennessee River, the other on the Ohio), allowed the general to put his engineering skills to work. We will hear more of these forts and this general in a couple of months. However, to pique your interest, I shall proceed in telling you that these two forts where built on the Tennessee and Ohio rivers directly south of the Kentucky/Tennessee boarder. At this particular point, as far north as the Confederacy could legally build forts at the time, the two rivers, which run parallel for a time, were thirteen miles apart. It is interesting to speculate as to if these forts had been built closer to the rivers mouths, were they were but three miles distant, whether they would have been of better service.
I am well pleased with your exam results. Do extend my hearty congratulations to Charles as well. With those kinds of marks, you gentlemen shall soon be engineers!