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 Research ACW US War Dept. Official Records HTML Ser. I, Vol. 4, Ch. XII–Reports.

THE
WAR OF THE REBELLION:
A COMPILATION OF THE
OFFICIAL RECORDS
OF THE
UNION AND CONFEDERATE ARMIES.

{p.175}

CHAPTER XII.
OPERATIONS IN KENTUCKY AND TENNESSEE.
July 1-November 19, 1861.
–––
REPORTS, ETC.

SUMMARY OF THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS.*

July 1, 1861.–Orders issued for raising U. S. troops in Kentucky and Tennessee.
13, 1861.–Maj. Gen. Leonidas Polk, C. S. Army, assumes command of Department No. 2.
26, 1861.–Brig. Gen. F. K. Zollicoffer, C. S. Army, assigned to command in East Tennessee.
31, 1861.–The Army of the State of Tennessee transferred to the Confederacy
Aug. 15, 1861.–The States of Kentucky and Tennessee constituted the Department of the Cumberland, under command of Brig. Gen. Robert Anderson, U. S. Army.
22, 1861.–Capture of steamers W. B. Terry and Samuel Orr, at Paducah, Ky.
Sept. 2, 1861.–Major-General Polk’s command extended over Arkansas and Missouri.
3-12, 1861.–Advance of Confederate forces into Kentucky; occupation of Columbus &c.
6, 1861.–Paducah, Ky., occupied by Union forces.
Brig. Gen. Charles F. Smith, U. S. Army, assigned to command in Western Kentucky.
10, 1861.–Brig. Gamin. George H. Thomas, U. S. Army, assigned to command at Camp Dick Robinson, Eastern Kentucky.
15, 1861.–General Albert S. Johnston, C. S. Army, supersedes Major-General Polk in command of Department No. 2.
18, 1861.–Bowling Green, Ky., occupied by Confederate forces.
Brig. Gen. Simon B. Buckner, C. S. Army, assumes command of the Central Division of Kentucky.
19, 1861.–Action at Barboursville, Ky.
Department of the Ohio reorganized.
21, 1861.–General Johnston calls upon Tennessee for 30,000 men.
Brig. Gen. O. M. Mitchel, U. S. Army, assumes command of the Department of the Ohio.
Major-General Polk assigned to command of First (or Western) Division, Department No. 2.
21-22, 1861.–Reconnaissance toward Columbus and skirmish on Mayfield Creek, Kentucky.
22, 1861.–Arkansas and Mississippi called upon for 10,000 men each, for service in Department No. 2. {p.176}
23, 1861.–Affair at Albany, Ky.
26, 1861.–Destruction of lock at the month of Muddy River, Kentucky.
26-30, 1861.–Expedition from Cumberland Ford, including skirmish in Laurel County, &c., Kentucky.
29, 1861.–Affairs at Albany, Ky., and Travisville, Tenn.
Skirmish at Hopkinsville, Ky.
Oct. 8, 1861.–Brig. Gen. William T. Sherman, U. S. Army, supersedes Brigadier-General Anderson in command of the Department of the Cumberland.
10, 1861.–Brig. Gen. O. M. Mitchel, U. S. Army, ordered to organize an expedition into East Tennessee.
12, 1861.–Skirmish near Upton’s Hill, Ky.
18, 1861.–Skirmish near Rockcastle Hills, Ky.
21, 1861.–Action at Rockcastle Hills, or Camp Wildcat, Ky.
23, 1861.–Skirmish near Hodgensville, Ky.
Skirmish at West Liberty, Ky.
24, 1861.–Attack on Camp Joe Underwood, Ky.
26, 1861.–Expedition to Eddyville and skirmish at Saratoga, Ky.
28, 1861.–Skirmish at Laurel Bridge. Laurel County, Kentucky. General Johnston assumes immediate command of the Army Corps of Central Kentucky.
29, 1861.–Skirmishes at and near Woodbury, Ky.
31, 1861.–Skirmish near Morgantown, Ky.
Nov. 1, 1861.–Brig. Gen. Humphrey Marshall, C. S. Army, ordered to Eastern Kentucky.
7, 1861.–Demonstration from Paducah upon Columbus, Ky.**
8-9, 1861.–Engagement at Ivy Mountain and skirmish at Piketon, Ky.
8-18, 1861.–Revolt of Unionists in East Tennessee.
9, 1861.–Department of the Ohio reorganized so as to embrace Kentucky and Tennessee.
11, 1861.–Maj. Gen. George B. Crittenden, C. S. Army, assigned to command of the District of Cumberland Gap.
15, 1861.–Brig. Gen. Don Carlos Bud], U. S. Army, assumes command of the Department of the Ohio.
19, 1861.–General Johnston calls upon Tennessee for all the militia and volunteer force that can be armed.

* Of some of the skirmishes and other minor conflicts noted in this “Summary” no circumstantial reports are on file, the only official record of such events being references thereto on muster rolls and returns.

On the 6th of May, 1861, the legislature of Tennessee passed an act of secession, subject to a vote of the people en June 8 following-and on the 7th of May, 1861, it ratified a military league, offensive and defensive, between the State and the Confederate States. (See Vol. I, Series IV.)

** See p. 299, Vol. III of this series.

AUGUST 22, 1861.–Capture of the steamers W. B. Terry and Samuel Orr, at Paducah, Ky.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Maj. Gen. J. C. Frémont U. S. Army, commanding Western Department.
No. 2.–Col. Richard J. Oglesby, Eighth Illinois Infantry, commanding at Cairo, Ill.
No. 3.–Commander R. N. Stembel, U. S. Navy.

No. 1.

Report of Maj. Gen. J. C. Frémont, U. S. Army, commanding Western Department.

HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Saint Louis, August 25, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith communications to my headquarters from Col. R. J. Oglesby, Eighth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, {p.177} commanding at Cairo, Ill., reporting the circumstances of the capture of the steamer W. B. Terry, on the Ohio River, at Paducah, by the U. S. gunboat Lexington, and a statement by the officers of the mail steamboat Samuel Orr, running between Evansville and Paducah, in reference to her capture in reprisal for the above by a Paducah mob.

Events have thus transpired clearly indicating the complicity of citizens of Kentucky with the rebel forces, and showing the impracticability of carrying on operations in that direction without involving the Kentucky shore.

Colonel Oglesby has telegraphed to me this morning that he is to receive to-morrow a deputation from the governor of Kentucky, and he has furnished them a safeguard.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

Brig. Gen. L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General of the Army, Washington, D. C.

–––

No. 2.

Report of Col. Richard J. Oglesby, Eighth Illinois Infantry, commanding at Cairo, Ill.

BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS, CAMP DEFIANCE, Cairo, Ill., August 23, 1861.

SIR: In the affair of the little steamer W. B. Terry, taken by Captain Stembel, of gunboat Lexington, yesterday morning, at Paducah, Ky., I had indisputable proof, which an examination of her papers found on board confirms, that she was running in the employment of the Confederate States. Without hesitating upon the neutrality of Kentucky, I ordered her capture. She turns out to be of no great value, say, vessel and furniture, $3,000. To the Confederates three times that sum will not compensate the loss. I have had her valued by a commission of my own appointment, and the papers filed at these headquarters. I am at a loss what further to do with her legally. Of course I shall use her, if necessary to do so.

Of course Paducah was in confusion, and his excellency the governor may become indignant. The result is, that yesterday the crew of the Terry, led by the captain and a few citizens, seized the steamer Samuel Orr, from Evansville, the private property of private citizens of Indiana-a retaliation more vindictive than sensible, as they thus destroy the last means of illicit trade with the border States north of the Ohio. Nevertheless, they have the boat and cargo, worth, say, $25,000. I would like to go up the Tennessee River and make the reprisal. I send herewith a copy of the statement of the captain and officers of the Samuel Orr, and also transmit copy of report [No. 3] of Capt. R. N. Stembel, commanding gunboat Lexington.

Hoping my action may meet your approval, I am, most respectfully, yours,

P. J. OGLESBY, Colonel, Commanding forces at Cairo.

Maj. Gen. JOHN C. FRÉMONT, Comdg. Dep’t of the West, Saint Louis, Mo. {p.178}

[Inclosure.]

CAIRO, ILL., August 23, 1861.

The steamboat Samuel Orr, running as the regular mail-boat from Evansville to Paducah, was, on the 22d of August, 1861, forcibly taken by a mob at Paducah, Ky., from the crew in command, and taken up the Tennessee River. The boat was new, and worth $15,000. It had on board a miscellaneous cargo, worth about $10,000. The principal owners are citizens of Evansville and the actors in the seizure were Captain Johnson, late commander of the steamboat W. B. Terry, White Fowler, A. M. Winston, and about 40 or 50 other persons, we believe all citizens of Paducah. Several shots were fired by the assailants, wounding two persons.

We were all of us hurriedly driven from the boat, without allowing us (except in one or two instances) the privilege of bringing away our clothing or baggage.

It is but justice to say that some of the leading citizens of the town were loud in their condemnations of this act, but no measures were taken, as far as we know, to prevent it.

Respectfully,

W. H. McCLURG, Captain. THOMAS DE SOUCHET Clerk. W. H. LONGNECKER, Clerk. F. F. DE SOUCHET, Clerk. A. J. DUNCAN, Esq. ROBERT REDDEN, Esq.

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No. 3.

Report of Commander R. N. Stembel, U. S. Nary.

U. S. GUNBOAT LEXINGTON, Cairo, August 22, 1861.

COLONEL: Agreeably to your verbal order, communicated to me at midnight of the 21st instant, I got under way, and proceeded to Paducah, Ky., where I arrived at 7.03 a. m. The gentleman you placed on board to designate the steamer employed in the rebel trade and carrying their flag pointed out the W. B. Terry as being the vessel thus illegally engaged. I ran alongside of her, cut her out, made her fast to the Lexington, and immediately returned to this anchorage and placed her in your possession. I was not opposed in the performance of this duty by either the citizens of Paducah or the officers and crew of the Terry, for the latter, evidently suspecting my object, left the boat hastily, with such articles of clothing as were at hand. I was therefore unsuccessful in capturing any of them.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. N. STEMBEL, Commander, U. S. Navy.

Colonel OGLESBY, Commander Military Post, Cairo, Ill.

{p.179}

SEPTEMBER 3-12, 1861.–Advance of Confederate Forces into Kentucky; occupation of Columbus, &c.

REPORTS, ETC.

No. 1.–Maj. Gen. Leonidas Polk, C. S. Army, of the occupation of Columbus and Hickman, Ky., September 3, with correspondence and orders.
No. 2.–Miscellaneous reports, correspondence, and orders relating to occupation of Columbus and Hickman, and Zollicoffer’s advance into Eastern Kentucky.

No. 1.

Report of Maj. Gen. Leonidas Polk, C. S. Army, of the occupation of Columbus and Hickman, Ky., September 3, with correspondence and orders.

COLUMBUS, KY., September 11, 1861.

I have the honor to inclose to you, by the messenger who takes this, the copies of all the correspondence that has taken place between myself and other official persons in regard to the occupation of Columbus, including the dispatches to and from yourself, my dispatch to the Secretary of War in reply to his alone excepted. This has been misplaced, and I have not as yet been able to find it. It will no doubt be found in the War Office.* I have thought it well to have copies of all these papers prepared in the order of their dates for file in the Department, for future reference, as well as to place you in possession of all I have done in the exercise of the discretion with which you intrusted me.

Hoping the measure I have taken may meet the approbation of my Government, I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. POLK Major-General, Commanding.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, President C. S. A.

* No inclosures found with this report, but the papers following, marked as inclosures A to M, are undoubtedly some of the papers referred to. The reply to Walker’s dispatch of September 5 not found.

[Inclosure A.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 2, Memphis, Tenn., September 1, 1861.

His Excellency Governor MAGOFFIN, Frankfort, Ky.:

I think it of the greatest importance that I should be well informed of the future plans and policy of the Southern party in Kentucky, so as to shape my own plans accordingly, and I have thought it proper to send the bearer, Dr. Fowlks, to Frankfort for conference with you in relation to your policy. The fullest information is desirable, and should be given as early as practicable. I have stated to Dr. Fowlks my wishes and designs and the difficulties that lie in my way, and I think it of the greatest consequence to the Southern cause in Kentucky or elsewhere that I should be ahead of the enemy in occupying Columbus and Paducah.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. POLK.

{p.180}

[Inclosure B.]

COLUMBUS, KY., September 3, 1861.

General POLK:

Between 1,500 and 2,000; loaded wagons; horses and artillery, light caliber; no fortifications yet; one of the steamers gone up river.

Two gunboats here yet and the Grampus. They sunk the ferry-boat this morning.

The troops are camped in woods opposite here.

HARRIS.

P. S.-The gunboats are shifting position; may have more soon.

[Inclosure C.]

HICKMAN, September 3, 1861.

General POLK:

The Grampus is here waiting orders. Gunboat has arrived. Steamboat just arrived from below, evidently filled with troops. Will report her soon as she lands.

B. HUGHES.

[Inclosure D.]

NASHVILLE, September 4, 1861.

Major-General POLK:

Just learned that Pillow’s command is at Hickman. This is unfortunate, as the President and myself are pledged to respect the neutrality of Kentucky. I hope they will be withdrawn instantly, unless their presence there is an absolute necessity.

ISHAM G. HARRIS.

[Inclosure E.]

UNION CITY, September 4, 1861.

His Excellency Governor HARRIS, Nashville, Tenn.:

I have the honor to reply to your telegram of to-day.

General Pillow was directed by me, under the plenary powers delegated to me by the President and not since revoked to move from his late position at New Madrid to Columbus, Ky., and in consequence of the armed position of the enemy, who had posted himself with cannon and intrenchments opposite Columbus, the general was forced to land at Hickman to avoid his cannon.

I regret that a movement so entirely acceptable to the people of Kentucky, or at least this portion of Kentucky, and so essential to the security of Western Tennessee, does not permit me, in the exercise of the above authority, to concur with your views. I had never received official information that the President and yourself had determined upon any particular course in reference to the State of Kentucky.

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. POLK, Major-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure F.]

RICHMOND, September 4, 1861.

General POLK, Memphis, Tenn.

News has reached here that General Pillow has landed his troops at Hickman, Ky. Order their prompt withdrawal from Kentucky.

L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War.

{p.181}

[Inclosure G.]

UNION CITY, September 4, 1861.

His Excellency the PRESIDENT OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: The enemy having descended the Mississippi River some three or four days since, and seated himself with cannon and intrenched lines opposite the town of Columbus, Ky., making such demonstrations as left no doubt upon the minds of any of their intention to seize and forcibly possess said town, I thought proper, under the plenary power delegated to me, to direct a sufficient portion of my command, both by river way and by land, to concentrate at Columbus, as well to [afford] to its citizens that protection they unite to a man in accepting, as also to prevent in time the occupation by the enemy of a point so necessary to the security of Western Tennessee. This demonstration on my part has had the desired effect. The enemy had withdrawn his force even before I had fortified my position. It is my intention now to continue to occupy and keep this position.

Referring you to my dispatch of the 2d,* I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. POLK, Major-General, Commanding.

* Not found.

[Inclosure H.]

RICHMOND, September 4, 1861.

General POLK:

The necessity justifies the action.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

[Inclosure I.]

RICHMOND, September 5, 1861.

General POLK:

Will you give a reason for General Pillow’s movement?

L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War.

[Inclosure J.]

CITY OF COLUMBUS, September 5, 1861.

Major-General POLK, Commanding Division No. 2, Confederate Army:

HONORED SIR: Will you permit a few of the citizens of this city and its vicinity, so recently oppressed and suffering from the tyrannical rules of the Northern Government, to express to you our profound gratification at the advent of the army under your command, and by your permission we will accompany that expression with a brief history of the action of that Government in respect to citizens of Kentucky, which in their judgment not only inclined our hearts to hail with delight the approach of the Confederate troops, but rendered it a duty to ourselves and our families that we should, as we did, unite and beseech them no longer to suffer the restraints of Kentucky neutrality to operate as a barrier against it.

{p.182}

We can attest, sir, your religious observance of that position which Kentucky had assumed for herself. We know, sir, that when the present unhappy difficulty between the Government of the United States and the Confederate Government [arose], the State of Kentucky chose for herself a position in relation to both powers, in which her citizens fondly flattered themselves that, and the din of war, they would find peace, security to themselves, and the ability to serve the suffering and afflicted of both sides.

The Government of the Confederacy acknowledged and recognized the right of Kentucky thus to act. They saw in this action only the exercise of a great right which attaches to the sovereignty of a State, and which was the principle that underlies the Government itself. The South has therefore tenaciously respected the position of Kentucky, but, on the other hand, this position has been repudiated by the Government of the United States from the beginning. They have repeatedly violated the neutrality of Kentucky and scoffed at those who trusted to it for protection.

It may not be improper to recall to your recollection a few of the instances in which the North have manifested its utter disregard of, and others in which it has openly and defiantly assailed, Kentucky neutrality. You will doubtless remember that when the Army was being first collected at Cairo, it was universally understood that its object and destination was down the Mississippi, to overrun Tennessee, take possession of Memphis, and finally march into New Orleans. That purpose is doubtless still entertained. As a military man you know that no general would lead an army of occupation into an enemy’s country and leave behind him unoccupied such a position as the map shows Columbus to be. Can any man be so blinded as to suppose that, and a vast arrangement then being made for the military occupation of the entire South, the War Department at Washington suffered the declaration of Kentucky neutrality to interpose for one single moment a barrier to the occupancy of Columbus?

We, sir, from the first hour that Cairo became a military encampment, have felt perfectly satisfied that this place would be taken possession of by Northern troops just so soon as the objects and designs of the leaders of the war rendered it needful, and, sir, we have trembled with apprehension for the consequences to our persons, our families, and our property. We had witnessed the outrages perpetrated by Northern soldiery. We had known private residences of our neighbors across the river in Missouri entered by these soldiers and despoiled, the owner made prisoner or chased into the woods or the canebrake, and insult and indignity offered to unprotected and defenseless females. We knew that we stood within the danger of similar treatment, for our offense was the same. Those men had dared to exercise the freedom of opinion and of speech, and so had we; they had dared to think and express the thought that a sectional President, elected by a sectional party and administering the Government upon purely sectional ideas, was a bane and a curse to the nation. We had offended in like manner. Because they would not prove such dastards as to disavow their sentiments, this treatment was visited upon them. We, too, felt incapable of retracting our opinions thus expressed, even though punishment awaited the refractory. We knew that they did not intend to respect the neutrality of Kentucky. We knew, moreover that in more instances than one they did openly violate it.

The case of the Columbus Rangers is in point. You, sir, may perhaps not have heard the particulars of that case. Capt. M. H. Wright, {p.183} a gentleman highly respected and honorable in all the relations of life, organized from the young men of Columbus and vicinity a company of Rangers, for the mere purpose of drill, to learn camp life, and to amuse themselves in hunting. A squad of this company went some 10 miles up the river on the Kentucky side. Some evil-disposed persons reported their presence in the neighborhood to the commander at Cairo, and he determined to capture or slay them. Accordingly, a troop of 200 armed soldiers lauded in the dead of might, marched in secrecy toward the encampment; as they would approach the dwelling of a citizen it would be surrounded, and the peaceful inmates, aroused in utter astonishment from their slumbers, would be placed under guard. Thus this force moved on, arresting the citizen and administering oaths until they approached the camp of the Rangers, avowing their object to be to arrest them or shoot them down if they resisted. The boys had left the evening before and returned to their homes, dreaming of anything less than they had become the objects of suspicion and of search to the army at Cairo. It has never suited the pleasure of any person connected with this flagrant infraction of Kentucky neutrality to allege any fault committed by a single individual of that party of Rangers. It was a wanton, unprovoked invasion of Kentucky soil to hunt down and murder Kentucky citizens.

Only a few days after the occurrences related above, another instance of their utter disregard of the rights of the people of Kentucky presents itself in a scene that was enacted in this place, as follows: There existed in our midst a diversity of opinion on the great question that was dividing the nation, one party favoring the doctrine of secession, the other for the Union. Each party, as was customary, manifested their opinions by the display of symbols that represented its peculiar views. The secession party had its flag, the Union party theirs. This was a matter that concerned ourselves alone. A flag of the Southern Confederacy floated from a pole on the river bank. The City of Alton, a steamboat belonging at Cairo, came down to Columbus filled with troops and having on board several cannon. She was run in to shore where the secession flag was floating, and the officer in command of the expedition demanded, in a rude and authoritative manner, by whose authority that flag was placed there. He was told it was done by citizens of Columbus. He then ordered it to be taken down. He was told it would not be done by any citizen. He then said if it was not taken down immediately he would shoot it down. He was told to shoot it down then. Thereupon three men came on shore, and, standing under the protection of their cannon, and guns bearing in point-blank distance of our persons and our dwellings, one of these men tore down the flag, took it on board the boat, and, amid shouts, jeers, and derision, it was stamped upon and carried away.

We had in all former periods of our national history been in the habit of manifesting our peculiar political views by any emblem we chose to adopt, and had felt it as one of the blessings of our form of government that we had the right to canvass and call in question the acts of our rulers in any method we might desire, so that we preserved the peace. We had, however, presumed too far in our trust in Kentucky neutrality. We had also been told by General Buckner, the commander of the military force of our State, that he had entered into aim agreement with General McClellan which secured to us perfect immunity from all future disturbance; but even this consolation was denied us, for quickly upon the heels of this last act comes the denial of General McClellan that any such arrangement existed, and that, too, in such terms as to {p.184} leave it perfectly apparent that the Northern Army were at liberty to invade Kentucky at such times and places as suited its pleasure or convenience.

Contemporaneously with all this, it should be noted that in the city of Louisville, the great commercial mart of the State, a strict and severe embargo was being enforced, so that the trade of Kentucky was obstructed and the means of disposing of our surplus absolutely denied to us.

As we draw nearer to the present period of time you will see the cloud thickens over the State, and the purposes and designs of the Government at Washington become more and more apparent.

Congress convened on the 4th of July. Was there any intimation of a purpose in that body to treat Kentucky otherwise than as a State in the Union, and bound by her allegiance to all the duties and obligations of that relation as understood and construed, not by Kentucky herself, but by the Northern Black Republican States? None whatever. In all the vast arrangements in the form of 500,000 men and $500,000,000 of money devised and voted for the prosecution of the war, for the overrunning Southern States, butchering her soldiery, and reducing their citizens to bondage, the State of Kentucky and the people of Kentucky were as fully embraced and included as the people and the States of Massachusetts or New York. Fearful the onerous tax imposed upon the people for the purpose of raising this blood money would be resisted in Kentucky, we find an army being raised and quartered in the very heart of the State, officered, equipped, fed, and armed by the General Government; held ready in the very center of the State to proceed to either extremity and assist that Government in placing the heel of power upon the neck of the people and constraining them into submission to unconstitutional usurpation and tyranny.

We have recently witnessed the spectacle of a thousand armed men, under General Rousseau, marching with loaded guns through the principal streets of the city of Louisville. We have witnessed the spectacle of another armed force, under Colonel Bramlette, marching into the city of Lexington, to place an unarmed populace under duress and compel them to submit to have Federal guns distributed from their city and a depot for Federal arms established in their midst. We have witnessed the placing of two gunboats at anchor in front of our own town, with a battery from each frowning upon our dwellings and menacing our citizens. We have seen the property of the city of Columbus-the ferry franchise-obstructed and the steam ferry-boat sunk and destroyed. We have seen bombs thrown into the city of Hickman. We have, sir, finally, witnessed the inhuman and fiendish act of a bomb hurled into our own town, bursting near a private residence, and in the very midst almost of shrinking, affrighted women. We have spent anxious days and sleepless nights in constant apprehension of the destruction of our town and the death of our wives and children.

Can you not then conceive of the sincere delight with which we hail the approach of the army under your command? But you will full far short of a just conception of the lively sentiment of pleasure we derive from the sense of restored confidence and the enjoyment of a consciousness that now our families and our property are safe. It is from hearts filled with such emotions as these that this entire community extends to you and to your gallant army a cordial welcome.

GEORGE C. TAYLOR ET AL.

{p.185}

[Inclosure K.]

COLUMBUS, KY., September 8, 1861.

Governor MAGOFFIN, Frankfort, Ky.:

I should have dispatched to you immediately, as the troops under my command took possession of this position, the very few words I addressed to the people here; but my duties since that time so preoccupied me, that I have but now the first leisure moment to communicate with you.

It will be sufficient for me to inform you (as my short address herewith will do) that I had information on which I could rely that the Federal forces intended and were preparing to seize Columbus. I need not describe to you the danger resulting to Western Tennessee from such occupation. My responsibility could not permit me quietly to lose to the command intrusted to me so important a position. In evidence of the accuracy of the information I possessed, I will state that as the Confederate forces approached this place the Federal troops were found in formidable numbers in position upon the opposite bank, with their cannons turned upon Columbus. The citizens of the town had fled with terror, and not a word of assurance of safety or protection had been addressed to them. Since I have taken possession of this place I have been informed by highly respectable citizens of your State that certain representatives of the Federal Government are seeking to take advantage of its own wrongs and setting up complaints against my act of occupation, and are making it a pretext for seizing other points.

Upon this proceeding I have no comment to make. But I am prepared to say that I will agree to withdraw the Confederate troops from Kentucky, provided that she will agree that the troops of the Federal Government be withdrawn simultaneously, with a guarantee (which I will give reciprocally for the Confederate Government) that the Federal troops shall not be allowed to enter or occupy any part of Kentucky in the future.

I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. POLK, Major-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure L.]

COLUMBUS, KY., September 9, 1861.

To Major-General POLK, Commanding Confederate Forces, &c.:

SIR: I have the honor to inclose herewith a resolution of the Senate of Kentucky, adopted by that body upon the reception of intelligence of military occupation of Hickman, Chalk Bank, and Columbus by the Confederate troops under your command.* I need not say that the people of Kentucky are profoundly astonished that such an act should have been committed by the Confederate States, and especially that they should have been the first to do so with an equipped and regularly organized army.

The people of Kentucky having with great unanimity determined upon a position of neutrality in the unhappy war now being waged, and which they had tried in vain to prevent, had hoped that one place at least in this great nation might remain uninvaded by passion, and through whose good offices something might be done to end the war or {p.186} at least to mitigate its horrors, or, if this were not possible, that she might be left to choose her destiny without disturbance from any quarter.

In obedience to the thrice repeated will of the people, as expressed at the polls and in their name, I ask you to withdraw your forces from the soil of Kentucky.

I will say in conclusion that all the people of the State await in deep suspense your action in the premises.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

JOHN M. JOHNSTON, Chairman of Committee

* Not found, but see quotation in first paragraph inclosure M, p. 186.

[Inclosure M.]

COLUMBUS, KY., September 9, 1861.

To JOHN M. JOHNSTON, Chairman of Committee, Senate of Kentucky:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this date [inclosure L], conveying to me a copy of a resolution of the senate of Kentucky, under which a committee (of which you are chairman) was raised “for the purpose of considering the reputed occupation of Hickman and other points in Kentucky by the Confederate troops, and that they take into consideration the reported occupation of Paducah and other points in Kentucky by the Federal authorities, and report thereon.” Also “that they be directed to obtain all the facts they can in reference to the recent occupation of Kentucky soil by the Confederate and Federal forces, and report in writing at as early a day as practicable.”

From the terms of the resolution it appears that your office as committee-men was restricted merely to collecting the facts in reference to the recent occupation of Kentucky soil by the Confederate and Federal forces, and to report thereon in writing at as early a day as possible. In answer to these resolutions I have respectfully to say that, so far as the Confederate forces are concerned, these facts are few and shortly stated.

The Government which they represent, recognizing as a fundamental principle the right of sovereign States to take such a position as they may choose in regard to their relations with other States, was compelled by that principle to concede to Kentucky the right to assume the position of neutrality which she had chosen in the passing struggle. This it has done on all occasions and without an exception. The cases alluded to by his excellency Governor Magoffin, in his recent message, as “raids” I presume are the cases of the steamers Cheney and Orr. The former was the unauthorized and unrecognized act of certain citizens of Alabama, the latter an act of citizens of Tennessee* and others, and was an act of reprisal. They cannot, therefore, be charged in any sense as acts of the Confederate Government.

The first and only instance in which the neutrality of Kentucky has been disregarded is that in which the troops under my command took possession of the place I now hold and so much of the territory between it and the Tennessee line as was necessary for me to pass over to reach it.

This act finds abundant justification in the history of the concessions granted to the Federal Government by Kentucky ever since the war began, notwithstanding the position of neutrality which she has assumed and the firmness with which she proclaimed her intention to maintain it.

That history shows the following, among other facts:

{p.187}

In January the house of representatives of Kentucky passed anti-coercion resolutions, only four dissenting.

The governor in May issued his neutrality proclamation. The address of the Union Central Committee, including Mr. James Speed, Mr. Prentice, and other prominent Union men, in April proclaimed neutrality as the policy of Kentucky, and claimed that an attempt to coerce the South should induce Kentucky to make common cause with her and take part on her side, “without counting the cost.”

The Union speakers and papers, with few exceptions, claimed up to the last election that the Union vote was strict neutrality and peace. These facts and events gave assurance of the integrity of the avowed purpose of your State, and we were content with the position she assumed.

Since the election, however, she has allowed the seizure in her ports (Paducah) of property of citizens of the Confederate States. She has by her members in the Congress of the United States voted supplies of men and money to carry on the war against the Confederate States. She has allowed the Federal Government to cut timber from her forests for the purpose of building armed boats for the invasion of the Southern States. She is permitting to be enlisted in her territory troops, not only of her own citizens, but of citizens of other States, for the purpose of being armed and used in offensive warfare against the Confederate States. At Camp Robinson, in the county of Garrard, there are now 10,000 troops, if the newspapers can be relied upon, in which men from Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois are mustered with Kentuckians into the service of the United States and armed by that Government, for the avowed purpose of giving aid to the disaffected in the Confederate States and of carrying out designs of that Government for their subjugation.

Notwithstanding all these and other acts of a similar character, the Confederate States have continued to respect the attitude which Kentucky had assumed as a neutral, and foreborne from reprisals in the hope that Kentucky would yet enforce respect for her position on the part of the Government of the United States.

Our patient expectation has been disappointed, and it was only when we perceived that this continued indifference to our rights and our safety was about to culminate in the seizure of an important part of her territory by the United States forces for offensive operations against the Confederate States that a regard for self-preservation demanded of us to seize it in advance.

We are here, therefore, not by choice, but by necessity, and as I have had the honor to say in a communication addressed to his excellency Governor Magoffin, a copy of which is herewith inclosed and submitted as a part of my reply, so I now repeat, in answer to your request, that I am prepared to agree to withdraw the Confederate troops from Kentucky, provided she will agree that the troops of the Federal Government be withdrawn simultaneously, with a guarantee (which I will give reciprocally for the Confederate Government) that the Federal troops shall not be allowed to enter nor occupy any part of Kentucky for the future.

In view of the facts thus submitted, I cannot but think the world at large will find it difficult to appreciate the “profound astonishment” with which you say the people of Kentucky received the intelligence of the occupation of this place.

I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. POLK, Major-General, Commanding.

* This reference is to seizure of the Orr at Fort Heiman.

{p.188}

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RICHMOND, September 15, 1861.

Maj. Gen. L. POLK, Columbus, Ky.:

Your letter of the 11th instant, with accompanying papers, was this day delivered by Mr. Ingraham.

Your correspondence with the committee and the governor of Kentucky has been considered and approved. Governor Harris and others have represented to me that the occupation of Columbus and Hickman would work political detriment to our cause in Kentucky. It is true that the solution of the problem requires the consideration of other than the military elements involved in it; but we cannot permit the indeterminate quantities, the political elements, to control our action in cases of military necessity. Such I regarded your occupation of Columbus to be, and your offer to evacuate it upon a reasonable assurance that it would not be occupied, and other places continued to be held by the enemy, furnishes all that could be required of respect for the declared neutrality on the part of Kentucky.

A telegram has been sent to Governor Pettus, to inform him that any troops he could furnish to you would be mustered into the service of the Confederate States.

You use the expression “brigade,” but this, I suppose, is merely intended to indicate a number of regiments, as you know the law does not authorize us to accept troops in any higher organization than the regimental.

Your wish for General A. S. Johnston to command the operations in the West has been fulfilled. He is now, I suppose, at Nashville, and you will soon have the aid of his presence with the army.

I am gratified that the people of Columbus recognize in you a defender of their rights and made common cause with you. This alone would suffice to prove that we have adhered to our declared abstinence from any policy of conquest.

I feel deeply anxious as to the course of Kentucky, and sincerely trust your expectations will be realized in relation to the people of the section in which you now are.

Very respectfully and truly,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

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COLUMBUS, KY., September 16, 1861.

President DAVIS:

Your dispatch of this day received.* Your views in regard to the occupation of Kentucky shall be carried out with careful consideration.

L. POLK, Major-General.

* Probably Davis to Polk, September 15, p. 188.

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No. 2.

Miscellaneous reports, correspondence, and orders relating to occupation of Columbus and Hickman, and Zollicoffer’s advance into Eastern Kentucky.

NASHVILLE, September 4, 1861.

JEFFERSON DAVIS:

Confederate troops, commanded by General Pillow, landed at Hickman, Ky., last night.

{p.189}

I regard the movement as unfortunate; calculated to injure our cause in the State. Unless absolutely necessary there, would it not be well to order their immediate withdrawal?

ISHAM G. HARRIS.

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RICHMOND, September 5, 1861.

Governor HARRIS, Nashville, Tenn.:

General Polk has been ordered to direct the prompt withdrawal of the forces under General Pillow from Kentucky. The movement was wholly unauthorized, and you will so inform Governor Magoffin.

L. P. WALKER.

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COLUMBUS, KY., September 13, 1861.

President DAVIS:

The following dispatch just received:

FRANKFORT, Ky., September 12, 1861.

The senate concurred in house resolution requiring governor of Kentucky to issue proclamation ordering off Confederate troops.

L. POLK.

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RICHMOND, September 13, 1861.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK, Columbus, Ky.:

I desire to treat Kentucky with all possible respect. Your occupation of Columbus being necessary as a defensive measure, will of course be limited by the existence of such necessity. General A. S. Johnston is en route to join you.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

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NASHVILLE, September 13, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General C. S. A.:

After consultation with the Tennessee commissioners to Frankfort, and with prominent citizens of Kentucky, I unhesitating advise that the movement of General Zollicoffer be stopped at the State line. The commissioners urge the withdrawal of General Polk’s force. Politically it would be a positive gain. The commissioners believe if General Polk should withdraw that the Federals would also withdraw. I think differently; but, even if it were otherwise, they say our doings in the State would more than compensate for the loss even of numbers. If a withdrawal is authorized, I can rally thousands of neutrality Union men to expel the Federals. I advise that General Johnston be ordered here at once, with discretionary authority to withdraw. Immediate action is necessary. Any delay in withdrawal necessitates energetic forward movements, for which there is not adequate preparation. Our possession of Columbus is already neutralized by that of Paducah. I regard a prompt withdrawal the only chance to unite the State. Simultaneously with withdrawal of Confederates I will issue call on all citizens {p.190} to join in expulsion of Federals. Advise us in Nashville, in order that the governor of Kentucky may be notified. The line is kept open for reply.

S. B. BUCKNER.

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NASHVILLE, September 13, 1861.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS:

On 4th instant I sent John Marshall, Andrew Ewing, and Dr. Bowling as commissioners from Tennessee to Kentucky. They returned last night, and think it of the highest importance that our troops be withdrawn. They say withdrawal secures to us majority in the State. If not withdrawn, overwhelming majority against us and a bloody contest. They think our withdrawal secures withdrawal of Federal troops and saves the State. They are able and reliable men. I submit their report for your consideration.

ISHAM G. HARRIS.

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RICHMOND, September 13, 1861.

Governor HARRIS, Nashville, Tenn.:

Movement to Columbus was reported to me as a defensive measure, rendered necessary by the descent of Federal troops. As a necessity it was sanctioned. If they can be safely withdrawn, it would conform to my declared policy of respect for the neutrality of Kentucky. General A. S. Johnston has been directed to confer with you at Nashville. Security to Tennessee and other parts of the Confederacy is the primary object. To this all else must give way.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

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KNOXVILLE, September 14, 1861.

Adjutant-General COOPER:

Governor Harris and General Buckner telegraphed me if possible to arrest the movement of which I apprised you on the 10th.* It is too late to arrest. To withdraw would be unfortunate, unless the Federal forces which menace us will agree to withdraw. I have informed Governor Magoffin through Governor Harris I will withdraw on this condition.

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General.

* Not found; but see Zollicoffer to Johnston, September 16, p. 194.

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RICHMOND, September 14, 1861.

General ZOLLICOFFER, Knoxville, Tenn.:

Your letter of 10th received.* The military considerations clearly indicate the forward movement which you propose. The political condition of Kentucky affects the determination of this question. Of that you are better informed than ourselves, and as you are supposed to {p.191} have conferred with General A. S. Johnston, the matter is left to your discretion.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

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COLUMBUS, KY., September 14, 1861.

Adjutant-General COOPER:

The enemy is concentrating a force at Paducah. It is necessary I should have more troops. I am offered two brigades by Governor Pettus, of Mississippi, armed and equipped, provided they are mustered into the Confederate service. May I take them? Prompt action is our policy now in Kentucky.

L. POLK.

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COLUMBUS, September 14, 1861.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, President, &c.:

Inclosed I send you a letter from two distinguished gentlemen of Kentucky, which will explain itself. My own opinion is, they overrate the importance of the seizure on the public mind of Kentucky. This is as I regard it from other sources of information. They both agree that the course Kentucky has pursued deprives her of the right to protest, and so far as the protection of Tennessee is concerned, the seizure in a military point of view was a necessity. Both deplore the effect on what they think its political influence. I believe, if we could have found a respectable pretext, it would have been better to have seized this place some months ago, as I am convinced we had more friends then in Kentucky than we have had since, and every hour’s delay made against us. Kentucky was fast melting away under the influence of the Lincoln Government. If we make the stand now, and do it vigorously, we shall find we have more allies in the State than we shall ever have at any future day, and if our arms should be successful in a few battles, the State will soon abandon the position which fear of the power of the Federal Government alone constrains her now to maintain. Give us armies, with more commanders, and we cannot but believe that the State will rally strongly to our support for their emancipation.

I have the honor to remain, respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. POLK, Major-General, Commanding.

P. S.-I hear the Federalists have about 8,000 infantry and 1,500 cavalry at Paducah. I moved Cheatham’s and Stephens’ regiments out to-day to Mayfield, to protect my right flank. It is of the highest importance that we should have a large re-enforcement now to press the enemy before he has time to fortify. He has laid out extensive works around Paducah, and is meaning evidently to make it his base. General C. F. Smith is in command.

[Inclosure.]

COLUMBUS, September 13, 1861.

General POLK:

The undersigned, at the request of many friends interested in the protection of Southern rights in the State of Kentucky, visit you at the {p.192} town of Columbus to present for your consideration some reasons why it is desired you should retire from this point to the State of Tennessee with your army.

The policy of Kentucky was to adhere to a strict neutrality. In that determination those who feel that it is the interest of Kentucky, on final separation of the States, to be united with the Southern States, have persisted in a rigid adherence to neutrality. Thus acting, the public opinion was being molded to the point of a final union with the Southern States.

It is feared the occupation of Kentucky soil by Confederate troops will check the run of public opinion, and be the occasion of inflaming the public mind against the Confederate States, under the operation of which the legislature will inaugurate measures for the creation of a force to operate against your force.

Allow us to state the condition of affairs in Kentucky. The State Guard military organization will be disbanded, and the guns ordered into the arsenal. A new organization will be adopted, and probably an organized force of 30,000 men created, and placed under the command of General Anderson. They will be directed to operate against your force, and most probably thrown forward from Louisville in the direction of Bowling Green, in the center of the Green River country, in the direction of Nashville. Such course would subjugate the people along that line, and subject those holding Southern opinions to all the atrocities which have marked the course of the Northern Army. Such occupation would in all probability be the rallying point for an army which will effectually overawe, if it does not crush out, Southern men and sentiment. The Southern men are not organized, and are without arms or the means of procuring them. No matter how numerous or how brave, they will be powerless for self protection, and may finally fix the destiny of the State.

We are aware that you have proposed a mutual withdrawal of the two armies. The undersigned cheerfully acknowledge the justice and propriety of that proposition, but it is due to you to say that a majority of the legislature insist that, as Kentucky is still in the Union and the Confederate States in rebellion, they will not recognize the right of the Confederate States to be placed on equal legal footing with the Federal Government. They insist that your abandonment shall be first, and without terms. Intimations are made that influential parties will use their influence to secure the withdrawal of the Federal troops, and by this means secure the neutrality of Kentucky and keep her troops out of the field, and leave the people free to act on the final question at the proper time.

We respectfully submit these views, and hope, if you shall feel it your duty to refer this question to President Davis, you will also present for his consideration the views here given.

Respectfully,

JOHN L. HELM. E. M. COVINGTON.

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CLARKSVILLE, September 15, 1861.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, Richmond, Va.:

I am just from Nashville, where some dissatisfaction prevails at the action of General Polk in taking Columbus, Ky. Whether it was altogether politic to take possession I need not say, but it will be ruinous to order him back. Let him advance his columns into Kentucky, {p.193} to Bowling Green and Muldraugh’s Hill if necessary, and I predict he will not leave an enemy behind him south of that place in two weeks.

In confidence I say to you the service here needs a general at its head in whom the Army and the country have unlimited confidence. Albert S. Johnston first, and Buckner and Gus. W. Smith as officers under him, would give such confidence as would insure success. I do not even insinuate that any one now in office should be displaced. I do not think they ought, but that the persons above named should be added to the list.

The neutrality of Kentucky has been all the time a cloak to enable the Lincoln party there to hide their real design to arm the friends of Lincoln and to disarm the Southern Rights party. We ought to strike now. A step backward would be fatal, in my opinion. We cannot long avoid a conflict with the paid and bought friends of Lincoln in Kentucky, and the fight might as well come off now as at any other time. If it is to be done, it should be done quickly.

Ever your friend and obedient servant,

G. A. HENRY.

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RICHMOND, September 14, 1861.

General S. B. BUCKNER, Nashville, Tenn.:

Your several telegraphs received. A dispatch from the President to Governor Harris yesterday will inform you of his views. A similar dispatch was sent to General Polk at Columbus. General Johnston is presumed to be now in Nashville, to assume command. Appointment of brigadier-general will be sent to you by mail, and it is designed that you take command of either Camp Boone or Trousdale. You are authorized to accept regiments for twelve months, if they furnish their own arms, if they will not come for the war. There is no law which authorizes the transportation, as suggested by you.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

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NASHVILLE, TENN., September 16, 1861.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS:

Mr. PRESIDENT: Your dispatch of the 13th instant,* was received at Chattanooga. After full conference with Governor Harris, and after learning the facts, political and military, I am satisfied that the political bearing of the question presented for my decision has been decided by the legislature of Kentucky.

The legislature of Kentucky has required the prompt removal of all Confederate forces from her soil, and the governor of Kentucky has issued his proclamation to that effect. The troops will not be withdrawn. It is not possible to withdraw them now from Columbus in the west, and from Cumberland Ford in the east, without opening the frontiers of Tennessee and the Mississippi River to the enemy, and this is regarded as essential to our present line of defense as well as to any future operations. So far from yielding to the demand for the withdrawal of our troops, I have determined to occupy Bowling Green at once. {p.194}

Information I believe to be reliable has just been received that General Polk has advanced upon Paducah with 7,500 men. The indications are distinct, leading to the conclusion that the enemy design to advance on the Nashville Railroad, and will immediately occupy Bowling Green, if not anticipated.

I design to-morrow (which is the earliest practicable moment) to take possession of Bowling Green with 5,000 troops, and prepare to support the movement with such force as circumstances may indicate and the means at my command may allow. Full reports of the forces of my department will be made at the earliest practicable moment. But enough is already apparent, I respectfully submit, considering the intended line of our defenses and the threatening attitude and increasing forces of the enemy in Missouri and Kentucky, to authorize and require of me the assurance to you that we have not over half the armed forces that are now likely to be required for our security against disaster. I feel assured that I can command the requisite number of men, but we are deficient in arms.

By letter of the 15th instant, borne by a special messenger, I have called earnestly upon the governors of Georgia and Alabama for arms, which I am assured they possess. If I fail with them, I shall appeal to your excellency for support and assistance. I believe that those States have quite a number of arms, and that a portion, at least, of them ought to be spared to this line of our defenses.

Having no officer that I could place in command of the movement on Bowling Green, I have been compelled to select and appoint General Simon B. Buckner a brigadier-general, subject to your approval, which I hope it may meet.

The occupation of Bowling Green is an act of self-defense, rendered necessary by the action of the government of Kentucky and by the evidences of intended movements of the Federal forces.

I would be glad to have the services of G. W. Smith, if it is in the power of your excellency to assign him to my command.

Any orders of your excellency will be executed promptly, and any suggestions you may make will be received with pleasure.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

A. S. JOHNSTON, General, U. S. Army.

* Not found.

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KNOXVILLE, September 16, 1861.

General A. S. JOHNSTON, Memphis, Tenn.:

SIR: On the 10th instant I apprised Adjutant-General Cooper that I expected on the 12th to have three regiments at Cumberland Ford and three other regiments there as soon as they could be withdrawn from other posts, and I added:

The country beyond Cumberland Gap, toward Nelson’s Camp, is poor and hostile. To make secure our line of communication with the sources of our supplies, it is essential to strengthen the positions at Cumberland Gap, Cumberland Ford, and the intervening passes of the Three Log Mountains. This may be accomplished, I trust, in a few days after the six infantry regiments get to the Ford, when we will be ready to make a forward movement.

On the 13th I received dispatches from Governor Harris and General Buckner, urging me to arrest my movement at the State line, if possible. These dispatches came too late, reaching me after my return from London. I replied to Governor Harris by telegraph, requesting him to transmit to Governor Magoffin the following note:

{p.195}

KNOXVILLE, September 14, 1861.

His Excellency Governor MAGOFFIN, Frankfort, Ky.:

SIR: The safety of Tennessee requiring it, I have occupied the mountain passes at Cumberland Ford and the Three Log Mountains, in Kentucky. For weeks I have known that the Federal commander at Hoskins’ Cross-Roads was threatening the invasion of East Tennessee, and ruthlessly urging our people to destroy their own railroad bridges. I postponed this precautionary measure until the despotic Government at Washington, refusing to recognize the neutrality of Kentucky, had established formidable camps in the central and other parts of the State, with a view first to subjugate our gallant sister and then ourselves. Tennessee feels, and has ever felt towards Kentucky as a twin sister. Their people are as one people, in kindred, sympathy, valor, and patriotism. We have felt, and still feel, a religious respect for Kentucky neutrality. We will respect it as long as our safety will permit. If the Federal forces will now withdraw from their menacing position, the forces under my command shall instantly be withdrawn.

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General.

Last night General Cooper telegraphed me in reference to my suggestion of the 10th, that, after strengthening the mountain passes, “we will be ready to make a forward movement,” as follows:

The military considerations clearly indicate the forward movement which you propose. The political condition of Kentucky affects the determination of the question. Of that you are better informed than ourselves; and as you are supposed to have conferred with General A. S. Johnston, the matter is left to your discretion.

There are probably by this time four regiments at Cumberland Ford and a fifth at the Gap, 15 miles this side. A sixth will probably be moved up by the 21st or 22d; and if the state of things in Greene County, where there has been some excitement, is such as I suppose, I am not able yet to indicate within what time proper defenses in the mountain passes can be completed, but every effort will be made to push the work forward vigorously. I hope to go there to-morrow. Would have gone earlier, but have been detained by pressing necessities here. I meant to say to General Cooper that we would be ready to make a forward movement, should it be deemed advisable.

I find myself at a loss, under present condition of things, how to obtain reliable information of the strength and movements of the enemy. I will endeavor to place before you promptly information I may receive and all circumstances enabling you to understand our condition. I inclose the most perfect report we are now able to make of the various corps, scattered as they now are at distant posts.*

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General.

* Not found.

{p.196}

SEPTEMBER 6, 1861.–Occupation of Paducah, Ky., by United States troops.

REPORTS, ETC.

No. 1.–Brig. Gen. John A. McClernand, U. S. Army, of departure of expedition from Cairo, Ill., September 5.
No. 2.–Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant, U. S. Army, commanding District of Southeast Missouri, with instructions relative to occupation of the town.

No. 1.

Report of Brig. Gen. John A. McClernand, U. S. Army, of departure of the expedition from Cairo, Ill., September 5.

BRIGADE HDQRS., Cairo, September 5-12 p. m.

SIR: I have the honor to report the military operations of the day.

This morning an engineering party, covered by a company from Col. Paine’s regiment, repaired to the Kentucky shore, and made a survey and reconnaissance, with a view to occupation preparatory to more decisive movements south. The party returned at sunset without accident. This afternoon vigorous measures were adopted for an expedition for the seizure of the city of Paducah, 50 miles above, on the Ohio River. To prevent opposing measures, all passing on the rivers and roads was suspended, egress from the city forbidden, and the telegraph restrained.

The expedition sailed at 11.30 to-night, comprising the gunboats Tyler and Conestoga, the steamers Graham and Terry, conveying Col. Paine’s regiment from Cairo, Colonel McArthur’s regiment from Bird’s Point, also Colonel Waagner’s artillery, consisting of six pieces, under Captain Smith. The force comprised about 1,800 men of all grades, six 64-pounders, four 32-pounders, and six 6-pounders, with an adequate supply of provisions and munitions for all expected emergencies. Brigadier-General Grant commands the expedition in person. The officers and men chosen for this duty are among the most carefully chosen and drilled of the Illinois volunteers. I anticipate the pleasure of being able to announce to you the entire success of this important movement.

Order prevails in this city and camp; the organization and drill of the forces are progressing satisfactorily, and when supplied with the arms now on the way, it is hoped that the post may be not only well defended, but the scene of efficient operations.

Having only entered upon the command of this post at noon to-day, and being pressed by active duties, growing out of the movements above referred to, I will defer details until better advised of the condition and strength of my command.

I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. McCLERNAND, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Maj. Gen. JOHN C. FRÉMONT, Saint Louis, Mo.

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No. 2.

Reports of Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant, U. S. Army, commanding District of Southeast Missouri, with instructions relative to occupation of the town.

CAIRO, September 6, 1861.

Have just returned from Paducah. Found secession flags in different parts of the city, in expectation of greeting the arrival of Southern {p.197} Army, said to be 16 miles off 3,800 strong. Took quiet possession of telegraph office, railroad depot, and Marine Hospital. Found a large quantity of complete rations and leather for the Southern Army. I will go to Cape Girardeau to-night, and give necessary directions for movement of troops from there, fund return to-morrow. Left two gunboats for the present.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General.

Maj. Gen. JOHN C. FRÉMONT, Saint Louis, Mo.

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HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT SOUTHEAST MISSOURI, Cairo, Ill., September 6, 1861.

I left Cairo at 10.30 o’clock last night, taking two gunboats and three steamboats, with the Ninth Illinois, under Gen. E. A. Paine; the Twelfth Illinois, under Col. J. McArthur, and Smith’s battery, four pieces light artillery, under Lieutenant Willard. I met with some detention at Mound City, owing to an accident to one of the steamers, creating a necessity for a transfer of troops. During the detention I was joined by Captain Foote, U. S. Navy, who accompanied the expedition.

Arrived at Paducah at 8.30 this morning. Found numerous secession flags flying over the city, and the citizens in anticipation of the approach of the rebel army, which was reliably reported 3,800 strong 16 miles distant. As we neared the city Brigadier-General Tilghman and staff of the rebel army, and a recruiting major with a company raised in Paducah, left the city by the railroad, taking with them all the rolling stock. 1 landed the troops and took possession of the city without firing a gun.

Before I landed the secession flags had disappeared, and I ordered our flags to replace them. I found at the railroad depot a large number of complete rations and about two tons of leather, marked for the Confederate Army. Took possession of these and ordered the rations to be distributed to the troops. I also took possession of the telegraph office, and seized some letters and dispatches, which I herewith transmit. I further took possession of the railroad. The enemy was reported as coming down the Tennessee River in large force, but this I do not credit. I distributed the troops so as best to command the city and least annoy peaceable citizens, and published a proclamation to the citizens, a copy of which will be handed you by Captain Foote.

I left two gunboats and one of the steamboats at Paducah, placed the post under command of General E. A. Paine, and left Paducah at 12 o’clock, arriving at this post at 4 this afternoon.

Last night I ordered the Eighth Missouri Volunteers, Col. M. L. Smith, stationed at Cape Girardeau, to report here immediately. I will send them to re-enforce General Paine at Paducah to-night. I would respectfully recommend that two additional pieces be added to the excellent battery of Captain Smith, commanded by Lieutenant Willard, making it a complete battery of six pieces. He has men sufficient for six pieces, but will require horses and harness.

Colonel Waagner accompanied me, and manifested great zeal and precaution.

I must acknowledge my obligations to General McClernand, commanding this force, for the active and efficient co-operation exhibited by him in fitting out the expedition.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General.

Maj. Gen. JOHN C. FRÉMONT, Saint Louis, Mo.

{p.198}

[Instructions.]

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT SOUTHEAST MISSOURI, Paducah, Ky., September 6, 1861.

Brig. Gen. E. A. PAINE, Commanding Ninth Illinois Volunteers:

Upon my departure you will assume command of the troops at this post, and make such disposal of the forces as will best enable you to retain possession and control of the city. A portion of the troops can be quartered at the Marine Hospital. You are charged to take special care and precaution that no harm is done to inoffensive citizens; that the soldiers shall not enter any private dwelling nor make any searches unless by your orders, and then a detail shall be made for that purpose. Exercise the strictest discipline against any soldier who shall insult citizens or engage in plundering private property. Make frequent reports to me at district headquarters, and also to the Department of the West, at Saint Louis, sending me copies of such reports.

By order of Brigadier-General Grant:

WM. S. HILLYER, Captain and Aide-de-Camp.

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HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT SOUTHEAST MISSOURI, Cairo, Ill., September 6, 1861.

Brig. Gen. E. A. PAINE, Commanding, &c., Paducah, Ky.:

Take possession of the wharf boats at the landing and make use of them for storehouses. I would recommend that you have your captured stores and all others sent to these boats immediately, to guard against losing them. I send you five companies of Colonel Oglesby’s regiment without baggage, and I want them returned by the same boat that takes Smith’s regiment. I can send you one or two companies of cavalry in a day or two, and am in hopes two more pieces of artillery will be added to the battery you now have.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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CAIRO, ILL., September 6, 1861.

Brig. Gen. E. A. PAINE:

I am instructed by General Grant, who has left for Cape Girardeau, to add to the foregoing the additional instruction, that should you apprehend an attack from the enemy you will seize all the money in the banks, assuring the citizens that it is done for the purpose of securing the deposits of the Union men as well as to guard against its falling into the hands of the enemy. You will then place it on one of the gunboats for safe-keeping.

By order of Gen. Grant:

WM. S. HILLYER, Captain and Aide-de-Camp.

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CAIRO, ILL., September 6, 1861.

Col. M. L. SMITH, Comdg. Eighth Regiment Missouri Vols.:

Without leaving the steamer you are now on, you will proceed at once to Paducah, Ky., and there report to Brigadier-General Paine, now in command at that place, for duty. I have selected your regiment and yourself for that post, deeming it of the utmost importance to have troops and a commander that can be expected to do good service.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

{p.199}

SEPTEMBER 19, 1861.– Action at Barboursville, Ky.

Report of Brig. Gen. F. K. Zollicoffer, C. S. Army.

BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS, Camp Buckner, near Cumberland Ford, Ky., Sept. 19, 1861.

SIR: On my way here to-day an express overtook me with your order to send two regiments from my command to Camp Trousdale. I immediately caused orders to be given to Fourteenth Mississippi Regiment, Colonel Baldwin, and Third East Tennessee Regiment, Colonel Lillard, to move to Camp Trousdale, those two regiments being on the line of the railroad and most readily to be brought to the position designated.

I have now four regiments here and one at Cumberland Gap. I have here one 6-pounder field battery of six guns and four companies of cavalry-eight other cavalry companies on the way. There are now but two infantry regiments left in East Tennessee; one, the Alabama regiment, with more than 400 sick. There are five cavalry companies left for that service.

An advanced force sent out last night, about 800 strong, entered Barboursville, 18 miles from here, about daylight, where they found about 300 of the enemy, and a fight ensued, in which we killed 12 and took 2 prisoners. We lost 1 killed, Lieutenant Powell, of Colonel Cummings’ regiment, 1 fatally wounded, and 3 slightly wounded. The enemy fled precipitately. The number of his wounded unknown.

Col. J. A. Battle commanded the detachment, making a march of 34 miles and dispersing this detachment of the enemy within a period of twenty hours. He destroyed their encampment, called Camp Andrew Johnson, and captured about 25 arms. Two prisoners had been taken a day or two before, one of whom was bearing a letter from an East Tennessee captain in the Lincoln camp at Hoskins’ Cross-Roads to his wife, in which the writer states that the strength of that camp is 15,000 and still rapidly increasing. We now have a report from the country people that they are 20,000 strong.

My only engineer officer understanding military engineering has resigned and gone home.

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General.

General A. S. JOHNSTON, Memphis, Tenn.

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SEPTEMBER 21, 22, 1861.– Reconnaissance toward Columbus, and skirmish (September 22) on Mayfield Creek, Ky.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant, U. S. Army.
No. 2.–Col. Jacob G. Lauman, Seventh Iowa Infantry.

No. 1.

Report of Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant, U. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT SOUTHEAST MISSOURI, Cairo, September 22, 1861.

GENERAL: Yesterday I directed a reconnaissance in force to discover the position of the enemy. The main part of the troops from Norfolk {p.200} and Fort Jefferson were landed below Island No. 1, and marched from there down the beach road, supported by the gunboats Tyler and Lexington. The result proved the Confederates to be in and around Columbus. No outposts are occupied by them nearer to us. Mayfield has been deserted by the rebels.

Colonel Waagner, chief of ordnance, left here this evening, in pursuance of orders telegraphed to him. His energy and ability have been of great service to me, particularly in directing reconnaissances, and his loss from this post will be felt.

To-day the advanced sentinels of one of our pickets fired into a scouting party of about 100 rebels, killing 1 horse and unhorsing 5 or 6 men. This took place about 1 mile from Elliott’s Mills, on the Columbus road.

The general health of this command is improving, but the number of sick is still very large.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Maj. Gen. J. C. FRÉMONT, Comdg. Western Dep’t, Saint Louis, Mo.

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No. 2.

Report of Col. Jacob G. Lauman, Seventh Iowa Infantry, of skirmish on Mayfield Creek, Ky.

FORT JEFFERSON, September 22, 1861.

GENERAL: My outposts, consisting of a detachment of 8 or 10 men, infantry, stationed on the road beyond Elliott’s Mills, were attacked this afternoon by the enemy’s cavalry, about 100 in number, and were repulsed with the loss of 4, known to be either killed or wounded, as they tumbled out of their saddles, and were carried off in their precipitate retreat. One horse was killed, and the horse furniture remains in the hands of my picket as a trophy.

If possible send us some addition to our cavalry force, and I pledge you they won’t approach our pickets again with impunity.

Respectfully, yours,

J. G. LAUMAN, Colonel Seventh Iowa, Commanding Post.

General U. S. GRANT, Commanding, &c.

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SEPTEMBER, 23, 1861.– Affair at Albany, Ky.*

* Exact date not ascertained.

Report of Brig. Gen. F. K. Zollicoffer, C. S. Army.

BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS, Camp Buckner, Ky., October 2, 1861.

SIR: I had posted Captain Bledsoe’s cavalry company near Jamestown, Tenn., and four other cavalry companies at intermediate points from there to Cumberland Gap, to watch the mountain passes on the East Tennessee and Kentucky line in its whole extent. Colonel Stanton’s rifle regiment is encamped in Overton County, Middle Tennessee, 14 miles from Captain Bledsoe, but I am advised that he does not regard himself as under my orders. I have just learned that a few days ago {p.201} Captain Bledsoe ascertained that about 400 Lincoln men at Albany, Ky., had made prisoners of some of our friends in their neighborhood, who sent to Bledsoe for help. He dashed over the line to Albany, routed the Lincoln men, and captured about 60 muskets, which he sent to Colonel Stanton.

The force of the enemy has collected at Monticello 800 strong, and two small pieces of artillery have been sent them from Camp Dick Robinson, Bledsoe has since sent to Colonel Stanton for help, which has been refused. He sent a second time, and was informed that he (Stanton) would not afford the desired assistance unless ordered by General Johnston. This is what a messenger sent to General Caswell says. Bledsoe, a very gallant man, thinks with this timely aid he could disperse the Lincoln force and take their cannon. Three companies of cavalry have been ordered to Bledsoe’s relief, but Stanton, who is so near, ought to give his aid.

I hear that about 2,500 Lincolnites have assembled at Louisa, in Lawrence County. Kentucky, on the Lower Sandy River, and that the people of Scott, Lee, Wise, Russell, and other western counties in Virginia are preparing against invasion. I have written to leading men in those counties, and have sent an intelligent officer through them to get reliable news and to urge timely preparations to guard the gaps in the mountains.

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General.

Lieutenant-Colonel MACKALL, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Columbus, Ky.

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SEPTEMBER 26 and 29, 1861.– Destruction of the Lock at the mouth of Muddy River (26), skirmish (29) at Hopkinsville, Ky., and its occupation by Confederate forces.

Report of Brig. Gen. Simon B. Buckner, C. S. Army.

BOWLING GREEN, October 4, 1861.

I returned here yesterday. On the 26th September destroyed the lock at the mouth of Muddy River; occupied Hopkinsville on the 29th, the Home Guards having departed on the previous night. Our only loss was 1 killed and 1 dangerously wounded, resulting from an ambush of a few of the dispersing Home Guards. Our cavalry wounded several and took 2 prisoners. Men stood march of over 100 miles remarkably well; their conduct generally excellent. We made many friends. I left the brigade of Mississippians and two small regiments under Brigadier General Alcorn at Hopkinsville. I will send you by mail a copy of my instructions to him. I can reconstruct at a cost of a few hundred dollars an old telegraph line from Clarksville to Hopkinsville. Shall I direct it to be built? There is a regiment 1,000 strong in Overton County, Tenn., about 70 miles southeast of this place; it is commanded by Col. S. S. Stanton, who is still under orders to respect the neutrality of Kentucky. If not wanted there, I request permission to order them to join me.

Yours, respectfully,

S. B. BUCKNER, Brigadier-General.

Col. W. W. MACKALL, Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.202}

SEPTEMBER 26-30, 1861.– Expedition from Cumberland Ford, including skirmish at Laurel Bridge, Laurel County, and capture of Salt Works in Clay County, Kentucky.

Reports of Brig. Gen. F. K. Zollicoffer, C. S. Army.

BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS, Camp Buckner, Ky., September 30, 1861.

SIR: The detachments whose movements I reported to you on the 26th instant are returning into camp. The commands of Colonels Rains and Statham and Lieutenant-Colonel McNairy went a few miles beyond London, having driven in the enemy’s pickets a few miles this side of Laurel Bridge, captured a part of the baggage of the encampment at the bridge, and given ineffectual chase for several miles to a retreating force variously estimated at from 600 to 1,500. They captured two of the pickets and one other prisoner, 8,000 cartridges, 25,000 caps, 3 kegs of powder, 6 barrels of salt, 2 wagons and teams (hauling off the last of their baggage), 3 other horses, 25 pairs of shoes, and several guns.

The commands of Colonel Cummings and Lieutenant-Colonel Brazelton proceeded to the salt works in Clay County and loaded their wagon train with all the salt there-200 barrels-and returned with it without any incident of note. The works belong to Lincoln men, but Colonel Cummings was instructed to receipt for it, which he did.

It appears certain that a portion of the enemy’s force at Laurel Bridge was from Camp Dick Robinson, and there is reason to suppose that a considerable force has advanced from that camp towards London, but of this I have no reliable information. I have not yet had an opportunity of getting detailed information from the officers of the character of the roads, the topography of the country, temper of the people, &c., but learn that the people seem hostile and that the roads have numerous mountain defiles.

I regret to have to report that I learn that some of our soldiers committed discreditable trespasses on the property of private citizens on the route, which I will investigate and endeavor to have properly punished. It will tend to thwart progress I was making in conciliating masses of ignorant people here who were hostile because they were told we would have no respect for their personal or property rights.

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General.

Lieutenant-Colonel MACKALL, Assistant Adjutant-General, Columbus, Ky.

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BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS Camp Buckner, September 30, 1861.

SIR: On the morning of the 26th instant Colonel Rains’ regiment, Colonel Statham, with a battalion of his regiment, and Lieutenant-Colonel McNairy’s cavalry battalion, marched for Laurel Bridge, in Laurel County, Ky., to break up a camp of the enemy, variously estimated from 600 to 1,500.

On the same morning I sent Colonel Cummings’ regiment and Lieutenant-Colonel Brazelton, with a part of his cavalry battalion, to the {p.203} salt works, in Clay County, to fill a train of wagons with salt. The population in those counties is hostile, and I considered the first expedition favorable to masking the second, while both would procure me valuable information of the country.

The first expedition drove in the enemy’s pickets some distance this side of the bridge, broke up their camp, captured part of their baggage, consisting of 8,000 cartridges, 25,000 caps, 3 kegs of powder, 6 barrels of salt, 25 pairs of shoes, 2 wagons and teams, 3 other horses, and 3 prisoners, including 2 of their cavalry pickets. They gave them ineffectual chase several miles through London and a few miles beyond.*

The second expedition obtained 200 barrels of salt, all that was at the works, and returned without notable incident. The works belong to Lincoln men, but I caused it to be receipted for, with the expectation that the Confederate Government will pay for it at the price at the works-forty cents per bushel. The scarcity of the article in the Confederate States makes the acquisition a valuable one to the Army.

I regret to have heard of irregularities among the soldiers on these expeditions in trespassing upon private property, which I will investigate and have severely punished. The population in these counties is an ignorant one, and much prejudiced against us by misrepresentation. I have made some progress in conciliating them, but I fear this conduct will tend to defeat such object.

Inclosed find report of the death of Lieutenant Powell killed at Barboursville, on the 19th instant. Is the vacancy to be filled by election or promotion?

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General.

Adjt. Gen. S. COOPER, Richmond, Va.

* For Zollicoffer’s instructions to Rains, see Garrard to Thomas, October 3, in “Correspondence, etc.-Union,” p. 291.

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SEPTEMBER 29, 1861.– Affairs at Albany, Ky., and Travisville, Tenn.

Report of Col. William A. Hoskins, Twelfth Kentucky Infantry.

CAMP AT ALBANY, September 29, 1861.

SIR: On my arrival at this place on yesterday I found it occupied by the Home Guards of Clinton and Russell Counties, the Confederate troops having evacuated the same; after appropriating such of private and public property as they chose returned to their encampment, distant from this place 20 miles.

Among other things which they captured were 30-odd Home Guard muskets and 3,000 rounds of B. and B. cartridges.

The promptness with which the Home Guards of Russell came to the relief of the people of this county is deserving of all praise, as also their heroic conduct in replanting and standing by the colors in the presence of such danger, with a foe outnumbering them ten to one, from which they were momentarily expecting an attack.

On my arrival at Monticello, learning that the Confederate troops contemplated reoccupying Albany, I deemed it best to call to my aid the Home Guards of Pulaski County, as also those of the counties of Lincoln, Casey, and Russell, under the command of Col. J. L. Barnes. {p.204} They responded to the call, and joined us this morning by forced marches with a force of 184 men, to which they are hourly receiving accessions.

To-morrow I shall expect re-enforcements of some 200, making in all 800 effective men, of which number 100 cavalry from Camp Dick Robinson and 100 from Hustonville and Liberty.

This morning I received information that the Confederate forces were forming another encampment at Travisville, distant from us 13 miles; accordingly I ordered Captain Morrison to take the effective force under his command and proceed to that point, and after reconnoitering sufficiently to satisfy himself that the number was not too great to justify an attack, to take them by surprise, order a surrender, which, should they refuse, to fire upon them.

In obedience to my orders he proceeded to that point as directed. In about two hours after Captain Morrison left camp Lieutenant Adams joined us, as also the Home Guards of Hustonville Cavalry. I ordered a detail of 15 men from the company under command of Lieutenant Adams and 30 from the Hustonville Home Guards, which were placed under command of Major Brents, and he ordered to proceed to Travisville, to support Captain Morrison in the event he was repulsed; but before reaching that point Captain Morrison had surprised the camp, finding about 100 troops, which, being ordered to surrender, fled, when they were fired upon and 4 killed, the balance effecting their escape by fleeing to the hills.*

...

They also took 4 prisoners, 2 of whom, as also 2 horses, were captured by Thomas Huddleston, a private in Captain Morrison’s company; after accomplishing which, to use his own expression, “He looked for more, but they had all fled.”

Among the officers with Captain Morrison were Lieutenant Miller, Sergeants Hay, Carr, Chilton, Smith, and Howard. The prisoners were brought this side the line, when, after taking a solemn obligation to prove faithful to the United States Government, they were released.

The promptness with which the Hustonville Home Guards obeyed my order to join in the hazardous expedition is deserving of honorable mention. But for our timely arrival the Confederate troops, I have no doubt, would now have been in possession of this place, as they were to move in this direction on yesterday.

This morning their plan was to gather their forces at Camp Monroe, when they were to divide their forces into three divisions; the smaller force of cavalry was to make a feint upon this place, while the other two divisions were to move one on Monticello and the other on Burkesville, Cumberland County.

I have ordered the blockade of the road leading to Monticello, by the destruction of a bridge, the felling of timber, &c., while I have also ordered the Home Guards of Cumberland to hold themselves in readiness to meet the attack; and should they attempt to execute their plans, if we can repulse the party attacking this place, we will move in the rear of the party attacking Burkesville.

Should they delay the attack until I shall be sufficiently strengthened by re-enforcements to move from cover, I shall proceed to blockade all the passes leading into this place and erect a fortification. So soon as that is accomplished I shall leave some one in charge and return to camp.

The cavalry from Camp Dick Robinson is too much fagged to return for several days.

{p.205}

I send you herewith copies of orders issued since I assumed command, as also a map of roads, &c., which will enable you the better to comprehend our position.

I am apprehensive that the attack on their camp to-day may provoke the enemy to hasten their movements on us; anticipating which, I have called for re-enforcements from this and the neighboring counties.

From the most reliable information obtained, they have 1,180 men, distributed in the following order: At Camp Bledsoe, 80 cavalry; Good Pastures, 200; and 900 at camp beyond Monroe; all of whom I learn are but poorly armed, with no artillery.

You shall hear from me again in a few days. I hope you will pardon my hasty and informal report, as it is my first experiment.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. A. HOSKINS.

General GEORGE H. THOMAS.

* List of property captured omitted.

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OCTOBER 21, 1861.– Action at Rockcastle Hills, or Camp Wildcat, Ky.

REPORTS, ETC.

No. 1.–Brig. Gen. George H. Thomas, U. S. Army.
No. 2.–Brig. Gen. A. Schoepf, U. S. Army.
No. 3.–Col. John Coburn, Thirty-third Indiana Infantry.
No. 4.–General A. S. Johnston, C. S. Army.
No. 5.–Brig. Gen. F. K. Zollicoffer, C. S. Army, including operations October 16-26, with correspondence.
No. 6.–Col. T. W. Newman, Seventeenth Tennessee Infantry.

No. 1.

Reports of Brig. Gen. George H. Thomas, U. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS CAMP DICK ROBINSON, October 22, 1861-4 a.m.

GENERAL: I have just received a dispatch from General Schoepf, at the Rockcastle Hills. He writes that the enemy attacked the camp with 6,000 infantry and 1,500 cavalry, and were repulsed and driven back, as he says, behind their intrenchments. He reports 4 of our men killed and 20 wounded. Among the latter was Captain Hauser, Thirty-third Indiana, who rejoined his regiment after the amputation of his finger.

General Schoepf regards the position as secure. I am sending forward provisions and ammunition in addition to the supply taken by the troops. I thought it more advisable, in the present confused state of the quartermaster’s department here, to remain at this post myself, sending forward Generals Schoepf and Carter, who are on the ground with 5,000 men. As soon as I can arrange matters here I will go forward myself.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. H. THOMAS, Brigadier-General, U. S. Vols., Commanding.

Brig. Gen. W. T. SHERMAN, Comdg. Dep’t of the Cumberland, Louisville, Ky.

{p.206}

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HEADQUARTERS CAMP DICK ROBINSON, October 23, 1861.

GENERAL: I wrote you on the 22d, giving the substance of General Schoepf’s report of the events of the 21st at Rockcastle Hills. I have just received another dispatch from him, in which he reports that his scouts had just returned and report the enemy “have fully retreated in the direction of London. Our loss is ascertained to be 4 killed and 18 wounded. On examination of the battle ground I set the enemy’s loss down at 30 killed, with a large wounded list-the latter taken by them off the field (as I learn from an intelligent citizen in the vicinity), except 3, who were brought into our camp and properly cared for; 1 since dead. Our wounded are doing well.

“The 3 prisoners, all examined separately by myself, gave the same statement relative to the strength of the enemy, viz, about 7,000. The enemy fought well, approaching to within about fifty yards of our muskets with shouts and cheers, which were promptly responded to by our men, under the immediate command of Colonels Coburn and Wolford.

“In the pocket of one of the wounded prisoners was found a letter to the commander of a secession Tennessee regiment, urging him to send forward his regiment to the relief of General Zollicoffer. I have just learned from a citizen on the route of the retreating enemy that they acknowledged a loss of 100 killed.”

I shall begin to move the depot to-morrow as far to the front as Crab Orchard, and advance troops to or beyond London as soon as I possibly can. Although I have sufficient ammunition for a battle, I would be obliged if you will have my requisition of the 12th instant filled and sent forward as soon as possible. I find a rumor in the papers that General Lee will supersede Zollicoffer. If he does, I should wish to be prepared for him fully. The canister and grape have reached here tonight, and I will forward them to-morrow.

The contractors, Theodore Comstock, of Columbus, Ohio, and Heildebach, Seasongood & Co., of Cincinnati, have violated their contracts, copies of which I inclose, as well as copies of my letters to them. The man Comstock had money placed in the hands of Jones Brothers & Co., to be paid to him as soon as his overcoats were received, yet he has never delivered the five hundred. The Cincinnati firm furnished a few things, but have failed to deliver anything since the 18th. I fear from what I can learn that they were led away from the path of common honesty by the tempting offer of the governor of Ohio. He pays them $10 for each overcoat. I hope I have your authority for publishing their names in the Cincinnati papers.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. H. THOMAS, Brigadier-General, U. S. Vols.

Brig. Gen. W. T. SHERMAN, Comdg. Dep’t of the Cumberland.

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No. 2.

Reports of Brig. Gen. A. Schoepf, U. S. Army.

CAMP ON ROCKCASTLE RIVER, October 22, 1861.

SIR: I sent up this morning all the spare wagons on hand. Please send me supplies of provisions of all kinds.

I sent an express to your headquarters yesterday, with a rough {p.207} pouch note of the events of the day. The enemy has not since presented himself. I sent out scouts this morning to ascertain his whereabouts. These scouts have since returned, and report that the enemy have fully retreated in the direction of London.

Our loss yesterday is ascertained to be 4 killed and 18 wounded. On examination of the battle ground I set the enemy’s loss down at 30 killed, with a large wounded list, the latter taken by them off the field (as I learn from an intelligent citizen in the vicinity), except 3, which were brought into our camp and properly cared for; one since died. Our wounded are doing well.

These prisoners, all examined separately by myself, gave the same statement relative to the strength of the enemy, viz, about 7,000.

The enemy fought well, approaching to within about 50 yards of our muskets with shouts and cheers, which were promptly responded to by our men, under the immediate command of Colonels Coburn and Wolford.

I yesterday asked for artillery ammunition and caps for rifles, to which I would now add a further supply of musket cartridges and caps.

The troops now en route for this camp will be held on the opposite side of the river for the present. I can hold my position with my present force against an equal or superior number, should the enemy again attack.

I will await further orders before following the enemy.

In the pocket of one of the wounded prisoners was found a letter to the commander of a Tennessee (secession) regiment, urging him to send forward his regiment to the relief of General Zollicoffer.

Respectfully submitted.

A. SCHOEPF, Brigadier-General.

Brig. Gen. GEORGE H. THOMAS, Commanding First Kentucky Brigade, Camp Dick Robinson.

P. S.-I have just learned from a citizen on the route of the retreating enemy that they acknowledge a loss of 100 killed.

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HDQRS. CAMP WILDCAT, October 23, 1861.

GENERAL: I have reliable information that the enemy have retreated to Laurel Bridge, 9 miles south of London, and are moving southward. I have conversed with intelligent persons from the vicinity of London, thence to Cumberland Gap, and am of the opinion that I can advance to that point (Cumberland Gap) and scatter the forces of Zollicoffer en route, and by turning the Gap get and hold possession of it, and perhaps the great railroad from Richmond, Va., and Manassas to Memphis and the South. Shall I do it? Should such movement meet your approval, I would suggest that all the re-enforcements which can possibly be spared from Camp Dick Robinson be sent forward, a depot of supplies (on a small scale) be established at Crab Orchard, and a similar one at Wild Cat (my present position), upon which I could fall back in case of an emergency. I am credibly informed that supplies can be obtained for my present (or larger) force between this point and Cumberland Gap. Hon. Mr. Maynard, of Tennessee, is of this opinion. I shall await your orders.

I have the honor to be, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. SCHOEPF, Brigadier-General.

General GEORGE H. THOMAS, Commanding Brigade, &c.

{p.208}

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No. 3.

Report of Col. John Coburn, Thirty-third Indiana Infantry.

HDQRS. THIRTY-THIRD REG’T INDIANA VOLUNTEERS, Camp Wildcat, Ky., October 22, 1861.

SIR: In pursuance of your orders to take possession of and occupy an eminence on the east of this encampment, on the morning of the 21st of October I took Company D, Captain McCrea; Company I, Captain Hauser; Company E, Captain Hendricks and Company G, Captain Dille, of the Thirty-third Indiana, comprising in all 350 men. The companies were immediately deployed around the hill as skirmishers. In less than 20 minutes the rebels, who were concealed in the woods, commenced firing, when at almost the first fire Private McFerran, of Company D, was killed. In 10 minutes more the enemy appeared in front of our position to the south at a distance of half a mile in the valley. They were in large numbers, and were over halt an hour in passing by an open space in the woods, when they formed again in line. They soon came near us under cover of a wood, which entirely concealed their approach until we were apprised of their presence by the firing of musketry. At this time we were re-enforced by a portion of the Kentucky cavalry, dismounted, under Colonel Wolford, about 250 strong, who immediately formed and took part in the engagement. The firing at this time was very severe, which caused the cavalry to waver and retreat. They were soon, however, rallied and formed again in order, and fought with good spirit. The enemy engaged was composed of a portion of General Zollicoffer’s command, and consisted of two regiments of Tennesseeans, under the command of Colonels Newman and Cummings. They charged up the hill upon us, and were met by a galling and deadly fire, which wounded and killed many of them. The front of their column approached within a few rods of us with their bayonets fixed, declaring themselves “Union men” and “all right,” at the next moment leveling their guns at us and firing. After being engaged nearly an hour the enemy retreated, bearing off a portion of their dead and wounded and their arms. Our men have buried their dead left on the field and taken the wounded to our hospitals. Thirty corpses have been found up to this time. A large number of their wounded and dead were carried off in their wagons. It is safe to estimate the loss of the enemy at least 100 killed.

The bravery of the Thirty-third Indiana was well tested in this engagement. I am happy to state that universal courage, cheerfulness, and promptness marked their whole actions during the entire engagement. Too much praise cannot be given to the brave Captain Hauser, who continued fighting at the head of his men upon the brow of the hill until disabled by a wound. He, however, continued on the field during the day, doing his duty nobly. Captain McCrea, with his men, held a small breastwork, and did fearful execution upon the enemy. Captain Dille was active in rallying the men and urging on the fight in all parts of the field. Captain Hendricks, with coolness and courage, kept his men to their places, and fought without slackening his fire during the engagement. I cannot omit mentioning the bold and active Adjutant Durham, who was wherever duty called him. Lieutenants Maze and Scott were marked for their heroic bearing.

About the close of the engagement four companies of the Seventeenth Ohio, Colonel Council, came upon the hill and formed in line of battle. Company E, Captain Fox; Company C, Captain Haines; Company K, {p.209} Captain Rea, and Company H. Captain Whissen, took their positions with promptness, eager for the fray, under the command of Maj. Durbin Ward, of that regiment. They remained on the field during the day and night, and assisted in completing the fortifications. About 2 o’clock p.m. we were again attacked. At this time the Fourteenth Ohio, Colonel Steedman, appeared upon the field. Company C, Capt. J. W. Brown, of the Fourteenth, immediately formed and opened upon the enemy, and this company, with others, also assisted in completing the fortifications. Afterwards Company G, Captain Eckles, and Company B, Captain Kirk, of the same regiment, came to our assistance. At 10 o’clock at night Lieutenant Sypher, of Captain Standart’s Ohio battery, came on the hill, and on an alarm fired three rounds. They were the last shots fired. At about 2 o’clock in the morning we heard sounds which betokened a movement of General Zollicoffer’s army. It proved to be a retreat. From a prisoner I have ascertained that his command consisted of two Tennessee regiments, two Mississippi and two Alabama regiments, together with a regiment of cavalry and a battery of six pieces of artillery. The number of our loss is as follows: Company D, 1 killed and 5 wounded; Company I, 1 killed and 10 wounded, 3 mortally. Colonel Wolford lost 1 killed and 11 wounded. The forces now on the hill are in good spirits and ready for further service.

In conclusion, I must commend the coolness, courage, and manliness of Colonel Wolford, who rendered most valuable assistance to me during the day.

Yours, truly,

JOHN COBURN, Colonel Thirty-third Regiment Indiana Volunteers.

General A. SCHOEPF, Commanding Brigade.

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No. 4.

Report of General A. S. Johnston, C. S. Army.

BOWLING GREEN, October 21, 1861.

General Zollicoffer telegraphs to-day from London, Ky., as follows:

One Ohio regiment said to be 12 miles distant; another regiment of the enemy a few miles beyond. I will feel of them to-day with two regiments and some cavalry.

My force here is about 5,400.

The above is the dispatch from intelligent gentlemen. I learned the day before yesterday that 6,000 men at Camp Dick Robinson had an advanced force of 4,000 towards Cumberland Gap under Garrard and from the camp stretching back to Cincinnati 10,000 more. I have no means of adding to Zollicoffer’s force at present, important as I think it.

A. S. JOHNSTON, General.

S. COOPER, Adjutant-General.

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No. 5.

Reports of Brigadier-General F. K. Zollicoffer, C. S. Army, including operations October 16-26, with correspondence.

CAMP NEAR ROCKCASTLE RIVER, October 20, 1861.

SIR: I have advanced 4 miles north of London, under disability to an embarrassing extent for want of subsistence and transportation. {p.210} The country is very poor indeed. The enemy occupy a strong position 8 miles ahead. We had a skirmish between pickets day before yesterday, in which we killed 1 man and captured another. We lost yesterday 1 man killed. We had a force yesterday 3 or 4 miles ahead, but, for want of water, subsistence, forage, and transportation (our wagons having been by an accident detained at and near London), had to return here to camp.

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General.

Lieut. Col. W. W. MACKALL, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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CAMP FLAT LICK, KNOX COUNTY, October 24, 1861.

On the 21st I reached the enemy’s intrenched camp, on Rockcastle Hills, a natural fortification, almost inaccessible. Having reconnoitered in force under heavy fire for several hours from heights on the might, left, and in front I became satisfied that it could not be carried otherwise than by immense exposure, if at all. The enemy received large re-enforcements.

Our loss was 42 wounded and 11 killed and missing. We captured 21 prisoners, about 100 guns, and 4 horses. The loss of the enemy in killed and wounded unknown.

The country is so poor we had exhausted the forage on the road for 15 miles back in twenty-four hours. Our subsistence nearly exhausted.

Under these circumstances I deemed it proper the next day to fall back.

Enemy’s camp said to be 7,000 strong, with large reserves near at hand.

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General.

Lieutenant-Colonel MACKALL, Assistant Adjutant-General, Bowling Green, Ky.

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CAMP AT FLAT LICK, KNOX COUNTY, KENTUCKY, Via Knoxville, October 26, 1861.

On the 21st I reached the enemy’s intrenched camp on Rockcastle Hills, a natural fortification, almost inaccessible. Having reconnoitered it in force under heavy fire for several hours from heights on the right, left, and in front, I became satisfied that it could not be carried otherwise than by immense exposure, if at all. The enemy received large re-enforcements.

Our loss was 42 wounded and 11 killed and missing. We captured 21 prisoners, about 100 guns, and 4 horses. The loss of the enemy in killed and wounded unknown.

The country is so poor we had exhausted the forage along the road for 15 miles back in twenty-four hours. Our subsistence nearly exhausted. Under these circumstances I deemed it proper the next day to fall back. Enemy’s camp said to be 7,000 strong, with large reserves near at hand.

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER.

Adjutant General COOPER.

{p.211}

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BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS, Camp Buckner, October 26, 1861.

SIR: I have information that the enemy were nine regiments at Rockcastle Hills. They are thought to have large re-enforcements close at hand. The country is very poor generally between here and there, particularly beyond London. I learn that some signs of trouble are again arising in East Tennessee, as the impression increases that the enemy is soon to advance in force. The new levies I learn come in slowly. Could General William R. Caswell, who recently resigned when the Tennessee regiments were transferred, have a commission it would greatly promote the public interest. He has been very efficient in advising me to dispose matters properly in East Tennessee since I have been in Kentucky. He is a true gentleman, of high courage, sound sense, exemplary habits, and of popularity worth much in the present condition of affairs in East Tennessee.

The Log Mountains, between here and Cumberland Gap, will soon, I learn, become almost impassable. The road is now very bad. There is reason to suppose the enemy may advance by way of Jamestown, 120 miles below here, instead of by this route. I have seven cavalry companies watching that route; no infantry or artillery, two regiments there having been ordered away by General Johnston. If I get news of their approach in that direction I will proceed as rapidly as possible to meet them, and have already collected some stock of commissary stores in that neighborhood.

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier. General.

Adjt. Gen. S. COOPER, Richmond, Va.

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CAMP BUCKNER, October 26, 1861.

I have fallen back to this position. I am reliably informed that there were nine regiments of the enemy at Rockcastle Hills on the 21st. Uncertain news that they were to camp at Laurel Bridge last night. Think there is danger they may advance by Jamestown, 120 miles from here. I have seven cavalry companies there; no infantry or artillery, Stanton and Murray being removed. Colonel Churchwell, at the gap, reports three 8-inch howitzers in position, but that the ordnance stores sent with them are totally insufficient, the shells not filled, &c. I fear we have no powder to fill them. Two Parrott guns have reached Knoxville and are ordered on. We much need an ordnance and competent engineer officer.

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General.

Lieutenant-Colonel MACKALL.

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BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS, Camp Tem Mile, October 16, 1861.

General W. R. CASWELL, or Col. W. B. WOOD, Knoxville, Tenn.:

Being much embarrassed for want of transportation in some of the regiments and battalions, we made a march of only 10 miles to-day. Letters from Colonel Stanton and Major Bridgman, dated 11th and 12th, received this evening. They both think the enemy has retired from {p.212} Albany towards Columbia or Camp Dick Robinson. My plan to get behind them and cut them off may be defeated; but Stanton’s regiment has now left for Bowling Green, and Bridgman returned to Post Oak Springs. What has become of the two companies of Colonel Brazelton’s battalion or of Captain Bledsoe’s company neither explains. Perhaps the latter is with Colonel Murray’s regiment at Camp Myers, in Overton County. This retiring of our forces may induce the Lincoln forces to return again. I wish the subsistence supply mentioned heretofore taken to Jamestown by the 25th instant; and you will order those cavalry companies to rendezvous in that neighborhood at the same time, that the subsistence stores may not be exposed. I must ask you to transmit from Knoxville the necessary orders to insure this and the inclosed letter to Colonel Murray.

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General.

[Inclosure.]

BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS, Camp Ten Mile, Ky., October 16, 1861.

Colonel MURRAY, Camp Myers:

SIR: I am 10 miles on the march toward a camp of the enemy on Rockcastle River, having left Cumberland Ford this evening with the greater part of my command. I learned that the enemy at Albany has retired. My plan has been to fall in their rear and cut them off. Now that Colonel Stanton and our cavalry have left the neighborhood of Jamestown, the enemy may return in force near the line. I have ordered stores of subsistence for my troops to be placed at Jamestown by the 25th instant, and have ordered the same cavalry companies to return to that neighborhood almost the same time, to prevent the enemy from seizing and appropriating the stores. Perhaps the cavalry from above would not be sufficient to prevent an incursion. I expect to pass down by Somerset and Monticello or by Columbia and Burkesville, in the hope of capturing any forces they may be threatening your position with. As secrecy is the element of success, I must beg of you not to mention to any solitary person this enterprise. My object in writing to you is to ask you, about the 25th, to move in such a way as to insure, by the aid of the cavalry, the safety of the stores, until I can reach the neighborhood. Inform General Caswell at Knoxville what you can do, and he will communicate with me.

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General.

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BOWLING GREEN, October 21, 1861.

General ZOLLICOFFER:

GENERAL: Your telegram from London received. The information we have of the enemy in your front is this: 10,000 at Camp Dick Robinson; of these 4,000 are in advance towards Cumberland Gap, but how far is not known; it is commanded by Garrard; and 10,000 dotted from Robinson to Cincinnati. General Polk ordered 2 howitzers, 1 Parrott, and 3 iron guns to be shipped for you to Knoxville October 15. A company to man this battery will be sent in a few days.

W. W. MACKALL, Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.213}

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CAMP RED SULPHUR, October 22, 1861.

General F. K. ZOLLICOFFER:

DEAR SIR: I am in receipt of yours of 16th instant. I am much pleased to learn that you are moving in direction of the interior of Kentucky. We are to-day within 32 miles of Burkesville; will reach and capture the Federal forces there by the 25th of this instant. We will then move to Albany by the 26th of this instant. Will you inform me of your position at Albany, as I will wait at that point for orders from you? I have no fears of our success at Burkesville. In the mean time our forces will prevent the Federal forces from capturing your supplies at Jamestown. Yours shall be strictly confidential.

I am, your obedient servant,

JOHN P. MURRAY, Colonel Twenty-eighth Regiment Tennessee Volunteers.

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No. 6.

Report of Col. Taz. W. Newman, Seventeenth Tennessee infantry.

NEAR ROCKCASTLE HEIGHTS, October 21, 1861.

As ordered, I formed my regiment from hill-top to hill-top at open intervals to move in rear of Colonel Rains’ regiment and support him. Lieutenant-Colonel Miller was ordered to take command of the left wing, composed of Companies A, D, F, and I, commanded by Captains Hoyle, Finch, Hunter, and Mathews, and for the movements of said companies upon the field I refer you to the report of Lieutenant-Colonel Miller, which is hereto appended and made a part of my report.* The six companies, viz, B, C, E, G, H, and K, commanded by Captains Marks, McDearman, and Armstrong, and Lieutenants Davis, Holden, and Harrison, constituting the right wing, were under my immediate command, and moved forward in line of battle in the direction of the heights in front of our position.

Upon reaching a point within eighty yards of the heights, we discovered a number of men ascending the heights and entering the fortifications, but supposing these men to be a portion of Colonel Rains’ command, I did not order them to be fired upon.

At this point we received a heavy volley of rifles and musketry. The command moved on, however, without returning the fire, until within forty paces of the enemy’s works, before we discovered they were not Colonel Rains’ men, at which time the men were ordered to cover as well as they could and to return the enemy’s fire. In this position we maintained a heavy fire for twenty-five minutes, when I ordered Captain Armstrong and Lieutenant Harrison to move their companies around to my extreme right, to prevent a flank movement of the enemy, which I saw they were about to make. These officers executed the order with promptness and alacrity under fire. The fire was kept up by all the companies for an hour and ten minutes, and seeing that it was impossible to fall back without great loss, I ordered the works to be charged. Four companies gallantly charged the works as ordered, officers and men seemingly vieing with each other as to who should be first to reach the works of the enemy.

After the fortification was reached, and many of my men had got within the works, driving the enemy from the first parallel, not receiving {p.214} any support, and being nearly destitute of cartridges, I ordered my command to fall back, which it did in good order. While this was being executed the other two companies maintained their position as ordered.

I take pleasure in stating that the officers and men all acted with great coolness and firmness, such as would do credit to veteran troops, and for more than an hour sustained a heavy fire.

Killed, 11; wounded, 34.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

TAZ. W. NEWMAN, Colonel Comdg. Seventeenth Regiment Tennessee Volunteers.

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

* Not found.

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OCTOBER 23, 1861.– Skirmish at West Liberty, Ky.

Report of Brig. Gen. William Nelson, U. S. Army.

CAMP WADSWORTH, Hazel Green, Ky., October 24, 1861.

SIR: For the information of the general commanding, I have to report that on the 22d I ordered Colonel Harris, of the Second Ohio Regiment, and one section of Konkle’s light battery, and Laughlin’s company of cavalry, to move on West Liberty from the camp at McCormick’s Gap.

The morning of the 23d I marched with the Twenty-first Ohio Volunteers, under Colonel Norton, and Thirty-third Ohio Volunteers, under Colonel Sill, and four guns, and the train towards this place. I left the Twenty-first Regiment, the train, and one section of artillery on the Blackwater to follow me, and pushed on. Major Robinson, of the Thirty-third, with two companies, had marched the night previous, arrived here at four in the morning of the 23d, and made a complete surprise, capturing several of the most notorious secessionists in this vicinity.

The march of Colonel Harris on West Liberty was resisted by some hundreds, under a Captain May, but he drove them easily, and entered the town at 8.30 o’clock. He found a number of Union men confined in the jail and released them.

I will await the arrival of my train at this point. I am now in possession of both roads and will move on to Prestonburg as rapidly as possible.

Very respectfully,

W. NELSON, Brigadier-General.

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OCTOBER 24, 1861.– Attack on Camp Joe Underwood, Ky.

Report of Col. R. D. Allison, Twenty-fourth Tennessee Infantry.

HDQRS. TWENTY-FOURTH REG’T TENN. VOLS., Cave City, Ky., October 25, 1861.

SIR: In compliance with your order, I left Cave City on the 23d instant at 4 p.m. for Camp Joe Underwood, a distance of 25 miles, with the following force: 250 infantry, Twenty-fourth Regiment Tennessee {p.215} Volunteers; 120 Tennessee cavalry, under Captains Hamilton and Biffle, and one piece of artillery, under the command of Lieutenant -, and arrived at the camp of the enemy the next morning about 5 o’clock. Our advance guard was fired upon by the enemy’s pickets, and a general skirmish ensued, when the entire force under my command charged upon the camp, routing the enemy, capturing 14 prisoners, 3 of whom were released upon a parole of honor by me; the others were delivered to you. A number of the enemy were wounded and several reported killed.

All the officers and men under my command acted bravely. We returned to Cave City on the 25th without the loss or injury of a man.

The following contraband articles and property were captured, to wit: 1 gray horse, 11 muskets, 3 rifles, a small lot of ammunition, 3 drums, a lot of knives, &c., besides other articles that have never come into my possession. All of the above articles, &c., are subject to your order.

Respectfully submitted.

R. D. ALLISON, Colonel, Commanding.

Major-General HARDEE.

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OCTOBER 26, 1861.– Expedition to Eddyville and skirmish at Saratoga, Ky.

REPORTS, ETC.

No. 1.–Brig. Gen. C. F. Smith, U. S. Army.
No. 2.–Maj. J. J. Phillips, Ninth Illinois Infantry.
No. 3.–Lieut. S. L. Phelps, U. S. Navy.
No. 4.–Cox and Read, telegraph operators, to Major-General Polk, C. S. Army.

No. 1.

Report of Brig. Gen. C. F. Smith, U. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, Paducah, Ky., October 31, 1861.

SIR: Learning that a body of rebel cavalry were stationed at Saratoga, a small village about 4 miles from Eddyville, on the Cumberland River, and were harassing the loyal inhabitants, I detached on the steamer Lake Erie three companies of the Ninth Illinois Regiment (some 300 men), under command of Major Phillips, of the same regiment, to capture or destroy them. The U. S. gunboat Conestoga, Lieut. S. L. Phelps commanding, accompanied the detachment and rendered efficient assistance. The party landed a few miles below Eddyville, and after a toilsome march of some 12 miles, the ground being broken and rugged, made a partial surprise of the enemy, about 160 in number, who were in line and dismounted. Major Phillips advanced upon them at a double-quick step, and after firing a volley charged with the bayonet, when the enemy broke and fled. The result was the killing of some 7 of the rebels, including their captain (Wilcox), and wounding others as they made off besides killing a number of valuable horses. Three of our party were severely though not dangerously wounded.

Major Phillips reports the capture of 20-odd prisoners, 30 horses, 8 mules, 2 wagons, with harness, saddles, bridles, &c., 30 muskets, several rifles and shot-guns.

The expedition seems to have been conducted with good judgment, {p.216} spirit, and energy, and will no doubt have a good effect on the other side of the Cumberland.

I inclose copies of the reports of Major Phillips and Lieutenant Phelps, commanding the Conestoga.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. F. SMITH, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

The ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Hdqrs. Western Department, Saint Louis, Mo.

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No. 2.

Report of Maj. J. J. Phillips, Ninth Illinois Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS NINTH REGIMENT ILL. VOLS., Paducah, Ky., October 27, 1861.

SIR: I have to report that, in obedience to Special Orders, No.-, viz:

SPECIAL ORDERS, No.-.

HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE U. S. FORCES, Paducah, Ky., October 25, 1861.

In obedience to Special Orders, No. 71, from headquarters, three full companies of the Ninth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, under command of Major Phillips, of the Ninth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, with rations for two days, will parade at General Smith’s headquarters 15 minutes before 4 o’clock p.m., for detached service. The commanding officer will report in person to the commanding general for orders.

By order of Brig. Gen. E. A. Paine:

EMIL ADAM, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

I left the headquarters of the Ninth Regiment Illinois Volunteers with three full companies of the Ninth Regiment, viz: Company B, Captain Kueffner; Company H, Captain Armstrong; Company I, Captain Robinson. Details were made from other companies in this regiment to supply the place of those on duty from said companies, to give each company the full complement of men, and were paraded at the hour specified in the order in front of the headquarters of Brigadier-General Smith, from whence, in obedience to his order, we marched aboard of the steamer Lake Erie, and left the wharf at Paducah at 4.30 o’clock p.m. on the 25th instant, followed by the gunboat Conestoga, Captain Phelps commanding, to Smithland.

At Smithland the gunboat was sent in advance of the steamer Lake Erie up the Cumberland River to New Forge Landing, about 45 miles from the mouth of the Cumberland River, where we arrived about 3 a.m. of the 26th instant. The landing was effected with dispatch, Company B in advance, followed by Company H, Company I bringing up the rear. Great precaution was taken to prevent the knowledge of the landing of troops being carried in advance of their march, and by taking an unfrequented road we marched about 3 miles to a point almost due west from Eddyville, 3 miles distant. We then marched up the bed of a dry branch about 5 miles to the north, where we left the branch, and marched about 5 miles to the Princeton and Eddyville road, intersecting it at a point about 600 yards north of the village of Saratoga, at which place we expected to find an encampment of rebel cavalry, under Captain Wilcox. Our skirmishers succeeded in surrounding and capturing the rebel pickets without firing a gun, and the advance of our troops {p.217} was unsuspected by the rebels until we wheeled in column in platoon in the lane in full view, 600 yards distant, from their camp, at about 7 o’clock a.m. They, to the number of about 160 men, dismounted, immediately formed in line, awaiting our attack until we advanced within 200 yards of their line. We, when first coming in sight, having charged on them at the double-quick, they commenced an irregular fire when we were at the distance of 300 yards, but at our approach broke for their horses, though many took shelter behind fences, trees, or houses. We charged to within 50 yards, halted, delivered a volley, and then charged bayonet, driving them from the houses and from their place of cover, and they then fled in every direction-some on foot, others on horseback. An occasional firing was kept up for half an hour or more. Six of their men were left dead and 1 mortally wounded. Several others were seen to ride off clinging to their horses, and were wounded.

We took as prisoners Lieut. J. F. Gibson, A. N. Bosarth, Eli Drennan, D. W. Gore, W. W. Hampton, Morton Rucker, Samuel Pearce, Joseph Parsons, George M. Coffer, James H. Roberts, Washington Rucker, Leroy Watson, R. F. Frezell, Robert L. Beck, George E. Crumbough, Joseph I. Hall, James S. Scott, E. Yion, James Glass, Andrew Duncan, and William Jinkins. We also captured at the camp of the rebels about 30 horses, 10 mules, about 40 saddles, about 30 bridles, 8 mule harness, 2 wagons, about 30 muskets, several rifles, and several shot-guns. We also took as prisoners near the place of action James Stom, James N. Glasgow, and G. W. Hyatt, who live near our line of march, to prevent their giving information and because of their avowal of sympathy with the rebels. C. F. Jenkins, a notorious secessionist was arrested near, and he had a son in the encampment. We also found with them several negroes, viz, Charlie, Onell, Willis, Melton, Ben, Jo, and Watson, all of whom and which we now have here.

Our wounded were Captain Kueffner, of Company B, slightly wounded with a buck-shot; Corporal Gribling, of Company B, severely with a buck-shot, and Private Gatewood, of Company K, who was serving in Company H, severely wounded with a rifle ball. Among the killed of the rebels was Captain Wilcox, who commanded the company.

Too much praise cannot be given the men for the spirit and energy with which they made the difficult and laborious march, as well as their coolness and bravery during the fight, and where praise is alike due to all it is difficult to discriminate. The commanding officer of the detachment is under great obligations to Captain Phelps, of the gunboat Conestoga, for his assistance in facilitating the landing of the troops and captured property and prisoners.

We arrived from Eddyville on the steamer Lake Erie and gunboat Conestoga, with prisoners and captured property, at Paducah at 8 o’clock p.m. of the 26th instant.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JESSE J. PHILLIPS, Major Ninth Illinois Volunteers.

Lieutenant-Colonel MERSY, Commanding Ninth Illinois Volunteers.

{p.218}

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No. 3.

Report of Lieut. S. L. Phelps, U. S. Navy.

U. S. GUNBOAT CONESTOGA Paducah, Ky., October 27, 1861.

SIR: On the afternoon of the 25th instant, by order of General Smith, I left this place in company with the steamer Lake Erie No. 2, on board of which were three companies of the Ninth Illinois Regiment, under command of Major Phillips, and proceeded up the Cumberland River upon an expedition to surprise a rebel camp near Eddyville, Ky., and have the honor to make known to you that the result was in the main successful.

I proceeded, with Major Phillips on board, in advance to Smithland, to procure guides and pilots, expecting that the transport would not approach the wharf boat; but the captain ran her to it, which rendered a change of plans necessary, and caused the force to reach the rebel camp at a later hour than was designed. The distance from Smithland to Eddyville by land is not half that by water, and the rebels have a complete system of runners established in that section of country. The transport was therefore sent up the Ohio a few miles, and the Conestoga followed an hour later, with two heavy barges in tow. These were cast off on reaching the transport, which was then taken in tow, with all lights out, fires screened, and engines stopped, by which precautions we succeeded in dropping down to Smithland and passing into the Cumberland without it being in the darkness of the night suspected that we had the steamer in tow. The two boats, after passing up to a safe distance, made all speed up a narrow and crooked stream, but did not reach and disembark the troops at the point selected till 3.30 o’clock a.m. I then had the transport moved to near the town and concealed behind a wooded point, while this boat was quietly anchored off the main street, as had been done several times before in the past few weeks.

As soon as I felt satisfied that Major Phillips had had time to reach the rebel camp, a march of 7 miles over an exceedingly rough country, and in lanes and foot-paths, and that information of the force was reaching the citizens, I threw a force on shore and surrounded the town with picket guards, to prevent the escape of rebel citizens or the entrance and concealment of refugees from the rebel camp.

About 10 o’clock a.m. Major Phillips reached town with a number of prisoners, horses, wagons, arms, &c. He had got to within 400 yards of the enemy after daylight before being discovered, when the rebels formed in line. Our troops were moved at a double-quick to within 100 yards, when they delivered their fire and charged bayonets on the rebels, who broke and fled in every direction, leaving 7 killed on the field. Two of our soldiers were severely wounded and 1 or 2 slightly, among these a captain of a company.

I seized a flat-boat belonging to a noted secessionist of Eddyville, and it was freighted with the prisoners and plunder and towed to this place. The horses and mules were first placed on the wharf boat at the town, also secession property, but it was found to be too leaky and rotten for towing, when the animals were put on board the transport and 100 of the troops transferred to the Conestoga. There were taken in the rebel camp and brought to this place, which we reached last evening, 24 prisoners, 7 negroes, 34 horses, 11 mules, 2 transport wagons, a large number {p.219} of saddles, muskets, rifles, shot-guns, sabers, knives, &c. A number of valuable horses were unavoidably killed in the skirmish at the camp.

Eddyville is 62 miles from Paducah, and the camp was 4 miles back of the town, at a place known as Saratoga Springs, and we were absent from Paducah 29 hours.

Major Phillips and the volunteers deserve the greatest credit for this successful daylight surprise.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. L. PHELPS, Lieutenant-Commander, U. S. Navy.

Capt. A. H. FOOTE, U. S. N., Commanding Naval Forces Western Rivers.

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No. 4.

Report of Cox and Read, telegraph operators, to Major-General Polk, C. S. Army.

CLARKSVILLE, October 28, 1861.

G. W. Hillman, of this place, just returned from Eddyville, Ky., reports 400 Lincoln troops left gunboat below Eddyville Saturday morning last, and surprised Captain Wilcox and company of 60 men, while they were at breakfast, 4 miles north of Eddyville, killing 4 men and 10 horses. Number of prisoners taken was not known when Hillman and Captain Wilcox left.

COX AND READ, Operators.

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OCTOBER 29-31, 1861.– Skirmishes at and near Woodbury and Morgantown, Ky.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Col. S. G. Burbridge Kentucky Volunteers.
No. 2.–Col. John H. McHenry jr., Kentucky Volunteers.
No. 3.–Maj. James Hagan, Mississippi Cavalry.
No. 4.–Capt. Thomas Lewers, Mississippi Cavalry.

No. 1.

Report of Col. S. G. Burbridge, Kentucky Volunteers.

CAMP SILAS MILLER, KY., October 31, 1861.

DEAR SIR: Below I submit an official report of the battle at Woodbury, Butler County, Kentucky, on Tuesday, the 29th instant, at 6 p.m.:

Having received intelligence from Colonel McHenry that the enemy were in force not far distant, on the south side of [Green?] River, and meditating an attack upon his force at Camp Galloway (Hartford, Ky.), we went forward on Sunday morning, at 9.30 o’clock, with 125 infantry, 100 cavalry, and two 6-pounders, under Captain Somerby, to re-enforce Colonel McHenry, and reach[ed] his camp after a march of 30 miles over rough roads on Sunday night and then encamped, and on Monday morning, joined by Colonel McHenry, with 125 strong, we resumed our line of march in the direction of Morgantown, and encamped about 14 {p.220} miles from Hartford, and near Cromwell, on the river above mentioned, and sent out our scouts to ascertain the position and strength of the enemy, thinking to attack them before daylight Tuesday morning. Our scouts, however, failed to return in time to carry into effect our original plan.

A small portion of Captain Breathitt’s company of cavalry, under Colonel McHenry, with his force crossed the river and proceeded to Morgantown, where they encountered the enemy’s pickets, and in the engagement Colonel McHenry lost 1 man, but wounded several of the pickets, all of whom, however, made their escape.

In the mean time I had ordered Captain Netter to join my command at Cromwell, but failing to make the junction, he crossed the river at and passed Morgantown in the direction of the enemy’s retreat, and about 1 mile distant from the town came upon the enemy’s pickets, who had been re-enforced to 60 strong, and with 20 men made battle, killing 6 of the enemy, without the loss of a single man.

In the mean time I moved the main body of my force over a mountainous and by a circuitous route, some 20 or 30 miles up the river to Woodbury, and there found the enemy encamped upon a summit commanding the surrounding neighborhood. They immediately formed in line of battle, but were soon thrown into consternation and dismay by a few rounds from one of Somerby’s 6-pounders. In the mean time a detachment was below after the ferry flat, the only means of transport across the river and it was on the opposite side and in possession of the rebel pickets. They were engaged by Lieutenant Ashly, and those that were not killed were driven back and the ferry captured, and soon brought into action Captain Belt, with 85 infantry, supported by Captain Shacklett, with 25 men; and Captain Porter, with the same number of Home Guards, was ordered over the river with one piece of artillery, under the immediate fire of the enemy. Our small-arms in the mean time were playing upon the enemy destructively.

The effort was an entire success. Captain Belt took position on and occupied the enemy’s battle ground (they having fallen back), which overlooked their encampments. A few shells were sent into their tents, and then charged by Captain Belt with bayonets, the enemy scattering in confusion and consternation, leaving behind them something like 50 killed, while others were wounded. A number of small-arms and shotguns were [found?], and 4 or 5 horses were the trophies taken, with 2 prisoners, whom I send to you by the bearer of this letter. Their tents, baggage train, magazines, &c., were destroyed.

Learning that they had been re-enforced and were about to cut off McHenry’s retreat, we took up our line of march in double-quick and proceeded to join McHenry, 1 1/2 miles west of Morgantown, and made a stand for the enemy, but finding it was not their intention to attack us we fell back, crossed our forces over the river, and encamped [at] Cromwell’s Ferry.

It is due here to mention that we were joined by 150 Home Guards, who came to the rescue nobly, but disappeared at the approach of danger. Our men, from the greatest to the least, behaved nobly and fought bravely. It would be an idle pastime to eulogize their conduct and bravery. The rebels engaged were Mississippians, Alabamians, and Georgians.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. G. BURBRIDGE, Colonel, Commanding Kentucky Volunteers.

Brigadier-General SHERMAN, Louisville, Ky.

{p.221}

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No. 2.

Report of Col. John H. McHenry, jr., Kentucky Volunteers.

CROMWELL, OHIO COUNTY, KENTUCKY, On Green River, November 3, 1861.

SIR: On Tuesday, 29th instant, hearing that the enemy had encamped 140 cavalry at Woodbury, a point on Green River 25 miles above here, Col. S. G. Burbridge, with 2 pieces of artillery, 100 infantry, and 100 cavalry, went up Green River on north side. I, in command of 100 men, under Captains Morton and Whittinghill, penetrated 7 miles on the south side of the river, where we met a scouting party, 14 in number, of the enemy, who fired on my men, killing 1 and slightly wounding 2 others. We killed 1 man and wounded 4 others. Captain Netter, of Colonel Burbridge’s regiment, with 20 men, advanced 1 mile farther, again met a small party and drove them back, with a reported loss of 2 men. Colonel Burbridge in the mean time arrived at Woodbury and fired upon the enemy with his artillery. They immediately fled, leaving everything behind them. Colonel Burbridge destroyed their tents and joined the force under my command at Morgantown. We, fearing a re-enforcement from the enemy, recrossed the river at this point.

On Thursday, 31st instant, the enemy, about 200 strong, attacked the Home Guards, numbering about 30 men, and one company, under Captain Whittinghill, at this point, but by the gallant conduct of Captain Porter, with some 20 men, they were driven from the river, with three buggy loads of killed and wounded, we sustaining no damage. Captain Whittinghill was not at his post, and Lieutenant Rogers, with a few men, stood against the enemy and fought bravely until every one of them had disappeared. Colonels Jackson and Burbridge immediately came to my relief from Owensborough, to which place Colonel Burbridge had retired, and they are now encamped 6 miles from this place, on the Hartford road. Three hundred cavalry appeared in Rochester, 15 miles below here, on the 1st instant, but had retired at last accounts. Reliable information reached me that a considerable force of the enemy, numbering 3,000, had left Bowling Green in this direction on the 30th, and I have reason to believe will attempt by a rapid movement to destroy my camp at Hartford and get possession of the Government stores at that place.

An item of information reached me that the rebels had issued a proclamation at Bowling Green, calling upon the citizens of Warren County for 400 wagons and teams, and that their whole force had fallen back to this place.

I take this method of expressing my gratitude to Colonels Jackson and Burbridge for the promptness and zeal with which they responded to my appeal, and to Colonel Burbridge for the bravery, discretion, and energy displayed by him in routing the enemy from Woodbury.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN H. MCHENRY JR., Colonel, Kentucky Volunteers.

General W. T. SHERMAN.

{p.222}

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No. 3.

Reports of Maj. James Hagan, Mississippi Cavalry.

LITTLE MUDDY CHURCH CAMP, October 31, 1861.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that, in accordance with orders from headquarters, I left Bowling Green at 10 p.m. 29th instant, in command of a detachment of the Adams Cavalry. On my route during the night I met several detached parties, composing the command of Captain Lewers, all of whom gave such alarming accounts of the numbers of the enemy that it induced me to proceed with caution. I met Captain Lewers, who informed me he had abandoned his camp at Woodbury. I encamped for a few hours, with a view of resting men and horses and obtaining information, but could hear nothing but vague reports of a large force of the enemy having crossed the river, and were occupying Woodbury and Morgantown. I proceeded towards the former place. As I approached I met numbers of the inhabitants abandoning their homes. On my entrance, I made such disposition of my force as would enable me to discover the presence of the enemy without endangering the safety of my command, and proceeded in this manner through the town and immediate vicinity without opposition. I then learned that the enemy had left the night previous, taking the direction to Morgantown. This force was estimated at from 150 to 200 men, with two pieces of artillery. After securing the camp and garrison equipage left by Captain Lewers, and ordering back my wagons to this point, I proceeded in pursuit of the enemy. As I approached Morgantown it became evident from the indications that the enemy were probably in position on the ground occupied by them in the affair with Captain Lewers. A reconnaissance of the hill, however, satisfied me that they had again retreated. I then entered Morgantown without opposition, and learned that a force of 400 to 450 infantry had crossed the river at Bora’s Ferry and occupied that town for a few hours; that this force, with the detachment that had crossed at Woodbury, had left the town the night previous, with the intention of recrossing at Bora’s Ferry. After satisfying myself that there was no opposing force in the immediate vicinity of the town, I returned to camp, which I reached at 9 o’clock last night. The force which crossed at Woodbury was commanded by a Colonel Burbridge; that which occupied Morgantown, by a Colonel McHenry.

From my present knowledge of the movements and position of the enemy I will consider the original order to thoroughly search the bend of the river as still in force which I hope will meet with your approval. I will therefore proceed this morning on that duty, and will probably encamp to-night near Morgantown. I would here remark that the people generally in this section of the country are either sympathizers of the Lincoln Government, or so indifferent to ours that reliable information is difficult to obtain.

I would beg to state that in our operations of yesterday, when on several occasions, where a collision with the enemy was momentarily expected, both officers and men behaved with the greatest coolness and gallantry.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES HAGAN. Major, Commanding.

To Major-General HARDEE.

{p.223}

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CAMP, November 2, 1861.

GENERAL: On the 31st ultimo I left my camp at the Muddy Creek Church and proceeded to Morgantown, where I left my wagons. I then directed my course to Bora’s Ferry, in the Big Bend of Green River, which I reached about 4 p.m. Some distance this side of the ferry I halted, and detailed 30 men, under Captain Harrison, of the Tensas cavalry (dismounted), with orders to approach the ferry under cover of some buildings, and, if possible, take possession of the ferryboat. Captain H. discovered that the enemy was on the opposite side of the river, with a guard of some 40 or 50 men. The moment our party was observed the enemy opened fire, which was promptly returned by us. The firing now became quite lively and lasted for about fifteen minutes, when the enemy rapidly retired from the banks of the river. During the engagement a force of about 100 men were evidently opposed to us. I re-enforced Captain Harrison by 30 more dismounted troopers, under Captain Phillips, of the Ouachita Rangers. Lieutenant Roane, commanding the Vicksburg company, I ordered to our left, to meet some men who were observed to escape in that direction. A portion of Captain Ravesies’ company, with a detachment of Captain Lewers’ company, were ordered to the rear, under Lieutenant Cole, to prevent surprise from that direction. Captain Ravesies, with the balance of his company, dismounted and took an active part in the affair. Four of the enemy were observed to fall during the action and several more retired evidently badly wounded. On our part, I regret to state that three of our men were wounded, two severely and one slightly. I procured conveyances for the wounded, and returned to Morgantown, which we reached about 10 p.m., and encamped there for the night.

On yesterday I intended going to Rochester, but learned from reliable sources that a force of mounted men had been detached on that service.

I have to report that there is no opposing force on this side of the river. It is reported, however, that a Colonel Hawkins, with a command of 800 men, threatens to cross and possess themselves of some point. The people are generally much opposed to our presence, and render assistance, either by information or supplies, with great reluctance. My men and horses, by our rapid marches and irregular supplies, are nearly worn-out. I have therefore determined on returning to our camp at Bowling Green, when I will report in person at headquarters.

I beg to express my acknowledgments to Captains Harrison, Phillips, Ravesies, and Lieutenant (commanding) Roane, and the officers and men under their command, for their prompt and energetic co-operation during the scout, and particularly for their coolness and gallantry during the affair at the ferry. Mr. Warren Hines, our guide, also rendered faithful and valuable services, and I recommend him particularly to your notice.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES HAGAN, Major, Commanding Detachment Adams Cavalry.

Maj. Gen. HARDEE, Comdg. First Div. Central Army of Kentucky.

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No. 4.

Report of Capt. Thomas Lewers, Mississippi Cavalry.

BOWLING GREEN, KY., October 30, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor herewith to submit the following report of the {p.224} affair of yesterday between a Federal force and my command in the immediate vicinity of Woodbury:

My command had been, as usual, diligently employed in scouting the country adjacent to Morgantown, the ferries, and the Bend of Green River, near Woodbury, with a view of observing the movements of the enemy.

Yesterday morning (29th) two scouting parties were dispatched from my command. One, under the command of Lieutenant Bondurant, proceeded in the direction of Morgantown, and after passing that point at the distance of about 1 mile and on reaching the crest of a steep and rocky hill they unexpectedly found themselves in the immediate presence of a superior force of infantry under cover on both sides of the road. After a brisk exchange of shots Lieutenant Bondurant withdrew his party in good order and returned to make his report.

The casualties in this affair were as follows: Of Lieutenant Bondurant’s party, 3 wounded, 1 severely and 2 slightly; on the part of the enemy, 1 killed, several wounded.

Immediately upon the return of Lieutenant Bondurant, I proceeded to the point indicated with Lieutenants Doniphan and Brown and 60 troopers. Before reaching Morgantown, and while moving in that direction, my advance guard came upon the enemy in increased numbers, posted on the crest of a rugged hill, accessible only by the road. The enemy in this instance were under the command of a man named Netter. They had been joined by the Union men of Morgantown and vicinity anti by members of an organization styling themselves Home Guards.

The enemy opened fire upon the advance guard, which withdrew without injury and joined the command, then halted at the base of the bill. I then divided my command, sending one-half to the right, with a view of engaging the enemy’s attention in that direction while I could charge him by the road in front.

I soon ascertained that we were unable to effect anything against the enemy posted as they were. We were fully in range of their Minie muskets, without being able to reach them with our guns and repeaters, while at the same time we found the ground of such a character as to prevent our ascending the hill except at a walk, and completely exposed to the fire of their entire force. One man and several horses having been wounded, I deemed it proper to withdraw and return to my camp.

Upon my return, I learned from reliable authority that a combined force of cavalry, artillery, and infantry, from a Lincoln camp near Caneyville, was approaching with a view of attacking me about sunset. This information was corroborated by the fact that the women and children of the Union men were being removed from Woodbury.

In about an hour the enemy opened fire with several pieces of artillery from the opposite side of the river on a portion of my command guarding the ferry, and commenced crossing under the fire of his guns.

The wounded having been sent forward to Bowling Green, and knowing my position to be untenable, the enemy having obtained the range of my camp with his artillery, I withdrew my command, and proceeded in the direction of Bowling Green. Ten miles from my camp I met Major Hagan with re-enforcements. My command returned with him, except some few troopers whose horses were broken down.

I cannot state with any degree of accuracy the enemy’s force, but from the most reliable information that could be obtained and from the close {p.225} proximity of the several Lincoln camps at Caneyville, Hartford, Porter’s, and other places, it may safely be estimated as exceeding 500.

The sentiment of the neighborhood in which I was stationed being almost exclusively inimical to our cause, the enemy was always in possession of the most accurate information as to our strength and movements.

I regret to have to report the capture of two of my command, who were stationed as pickets on the Morgantown road, the loss of several troop horses, and the leaving of two wagons, several tents and some camp and garrison equipage in camp as a matter of necessity. In our withdrawal, the road being held by the enemy, our line of march was necessarily across the country and impracticable to wagons.

The conduct of the officers and men of the command throughout the day was excellent.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOS. LEWERS, Captain, Commanding.

Col. WIRT ADAMS, Comdg. Reg’t Miss. Cav., Bowling Green, Ky.

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NOVEMBER 8-9, 1861.– Engagement at Ivy Mountain and skirmish at Piketon, Ky.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Brig. Gen. William Nelson, U. S. Army.
No. 2.–Col. Joshua W. Sill, Thirty-third Ohio Infantry.
No. 3.–Col. John S. Williams, C. S. Army.

No. 1.

Report of Brig. Gen. William Nelson, U. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS CAMP HOPELESS CHASE, Piketon, Ky., November 10, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report, for the information of the commanding general of the department, that on the 7th November I dispatched Colonel Sill, with his own regiment, the Thirty-third Ohio, and light battalion under Major Hurt, Kentucky volunteers, composed of a flank company from each of the regiments-the Second, Thirty-third, and Fifty-ninth O. V., U. S. A-and two Kentucky companies, together with 142 mounted men, under command of Colonel Metcalf, Kentucky volunteers (made up of men mounted from the wagon teams), and 36 gentlemen, volunteers, under Colonel Apperson, and a section of artillery, to march by the way of John’s Creek, and pass to the left of Piketon, where the rebels had taken post-a distance of 40 miles-and turn or cut them off. Colonel Sill marched at 11 a.m. on the 7th. At 5 a.m. of the 8th I marched, with the Second Regiment O. V., U. S. A., Colonel Harris; Twenty-first Regiment O. V., U. S. A., Colonel Norton; Fifty ninth Regiment O. V., U. S. A., Colonel Fyffe; the battalion of Kentucky volunteers under Col. Chas. A. Marshall, and two sections of artillery, Captain Konkle, and took the State road direct to Piketon-28 miles. Some 8 miles from Prestonburg we met a picket of about 40 cavalry and fired on them, but having no cavalry, they escaped easily.

At 1 p.m. the column had advanced along the narrow defile of the mountain that ends at Ivy Creek. The mountain is highest along the {p.226} river and very precipitous and thickly covered with timber and undergrowth, and the road, which is but 7 feet wide, is cut along the side of it about 25 feet above the river, which is close under the road. The ridge descends in a rapid curve and very sharp to the creek, or rather gorge, where it makes a complete elbow. Behind this ridge, and all along the mountain side, the enemy, 700 strong, lay in ambush, and did not fire until the head of Colonel Marshall’s battalion, himself leading was up to the elbow. The skirmish was very sharp. The mountain-side was blue with puffs of smoke and not an enemy to be seen. The first discharge killed 4 and wounded 13 of Marshall’s men. I ordered the Kentuckians to charge. Colonel Harris, whose regiment was immediately behind me, led his men up the mountain-side most gallantly, and deployed them along the face of it. Colonel Norton, whose regiment had just reached the defile, anticipating an order from me, led his men up the northern ridge of the mountain and deployed them along the face of it and along the crest, and went at them. Two pieces of artillery were got in position in the road and opened upon them. Owing to the steepness of the mountain all this required time. On the opposite side of the river, which is here narrow, deep, and swift, there were also rebels, who annoyed us. In an hour and twenty minutes the rebels were - and fled ,leaving a number of killed and wounded on the ground and 6 prisoners unhurt. As I marched immediately in pursuit, I do not report what their loss was. I am told to-day that 32 dead were found. Among the wounded in our hands is H. M. Rust, late State senator from Greenup County, Kentucky. Cur loss is 6 killed and 24 wounded. If I had here any cavalry I would have taken or slain the whole of them; as it was, the enemy retreated, cutting down trees across the narrow road and burning or cutting all the bridges, which are numerous. I bivouacked 4 miles beyond the Ivy Creek. It rained, and the men waded through mud and in a heavy rain all the day of the 9th, the march being heavy and slow on account of the trees across the roads and the necessity of repairing the bridges. Last night we again bivouacked in the November rain and entered this place this morning at 9 a.m., where I found Colonel Sill, who had arrived the night previously and fired on the enemy as they were retreating. I inclose Colonel Sill’s report.

Very respectfully,

W. NELSON, Brigadier-General.

Captain GREENE, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Louisville, Ky.:

I inclose also copy of a letter from Benjamin, Secretary of War at Richmond, to Col. J. S. Williams. I have to mention that Captain Berryhill, Second Ohio, was wounded severely whilst leading the column up the mountain-side.

[Inclosure.]

WAR DEPARTMENT, October 28, 1861.

DEAR SIR: The bearer, Mr. Lewis, is on special service for the Government. He will make to you a communication about young Clay, in relation to which you will use your discretion.

I am anxiously awaiting your muster rolls.

I sent a company of artillery with its battery yesterday, and shall send a regiment of armed Virginians to Prestonburg in a few days.

Yours, &c.,

J. P. BENJAMIN.

Col. JOHN S. WILLIAMS, Prestonburg, Ky.

{p.227}

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No. 2.

Report of Col. Joshua W. Sill, Thirty-third Ohio Infantry.

PIKETON, November 10, [1861].

SIR: I have the honor to report that my command occupied this place yesterday afternoon about 4 o’clock. Colonel Metcalf’s mounted force, in advance, exchanged shots with a party, probably a reconnoitering one, who had just crossed the river. They retreated. I threw out Metcalf’s and Hurt’s force, deployed as skirmishers, on the hill-side flanking the road, which debouched at the ford. They found the enemy’s camp deserted, and the main street of the village occupied by mounted men, making off by the Shelby road. A few rounds of shell were sent after them, and Metcalf’s men mounted their horses and took possession of the town. The remainder of the force crossed on a raft bridge. I learned that the enemy were occupied all of yesterday leaving. General Williams was here when the skirmishers opened fire. I now occupy his headquarters. The only casualty that I know of was 1 man killed on this side. On the route we encountered a party of mounted men twice. The first time our fire killed a horse and wounded 2 men. Night before last a reconnoitering party of 10, sent out by Colonel Metcalf, encountered Captain Shawn’s cavalry, of about 150, and, it is reported, wounded Captain Shawn. His party went back in great haste. There are many particulars I will speak of when I meet you.

Troops are very hungry. All that we can get is beef. There is a mill near here, which we will set in motion to-day, and get plenty of corn meal.

I am, very respectfully, sir, your most obedient servant,

J. W. SILL, Colonel, Commanding.

General W. NELSON.

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No. 3.

Reports of Col. John S. Williams, C. S. Army.

PIKETON, KY., November 9, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 6th instant. In reply, I have to say that no one can regret as deeply as myself the necessity of evacuating Prestonburg; but I was forced to do so from the unarmed and unorganized condition of my troops. The enemy has pressed me so hard that I have not even had time to complete the muster rolls of the companies. At Prestonburg we had not two rounds of ammunition, and the enemy was advancing in three columns, in front and upon both flanks. I fell back to Piketon to meet my ammunition. On yesterday I was compelled to make a fight to protect our retreat. The engagement was sanguinary, lasting about four hours. Our loss, I believe, was 10 killed and 7 or 8 wounded. The enemy’s loss was heavy-could not have been less than 150 killed and a large number wounded, for the road was strewn with men and horses. We had only about 300 men. The enemy had not less than 1,500-most probably 2,000-with six pieces of artillery. They were at first checked but on account of their great superiority of numbers they were able to outflank us, and our force was compelled to fall back. The enemy did not pursue. They are also {p.228} advancing upon this place, upon the John’s Creek road, from Louisa. On yesterday Captain Holliday, with a small command, met this column from John’s Creek. A skirmish took place. I sent him a re-enforcement of 200 men, which checked their advance. The night was occupied in preparing to fall back in the direction of Pound Gap, but our transportation is so limited that we shall be compelled to abandon some public property. The enemy is perfectly equipped, with plenty of artillery. They are well instructed, and fight with courage. We have nothing in the world upon our side but bravery. The disparity in the loss was due alone to our position. Infantry armed with rifles are the men for this country. Cavalry is almost useless, except for picket duty.

With regard to the point at which we will be likely to meet I cannot say positively. I shall continue to fall back until I can make a stand or am re-enforced. Our route will be towards Abingdon.*

We have now nine companies of infantry, four of them not yet full, and five companies of mounted men, and two of these not full-making in all an aggregate of 1,100 men, poorly armed and badly clothed, and with scarcely any discipline.

Allow me to congratulate you upon your appointment.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. S. WILLIAMS, Colonel, C. S. Army.

Brig. Gen. HUMPHREY MARSHALL, Wytheville.

* See Marshall to Cooper, November 11 and 12; and Cooper to Marshall, same dates, in “Correspondence, etc.-Confederate,” pp. 538, 540.

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CAMP NEAR POUND GAP, November 13, 1861.

GENERAL: Since my last report to you I have been compelled to abandon Piketon by an overwhelming force that advanced upon me in two columns, one directly up the river from Prestonburg, 1,600 strong, with a battery of six pieces, and the other from Louisa up John’s Creek, a branch of the Sandy, numbering 1,800 men, with a battery of field pieces. Both of these columns converged upon Piketon.

My whole force consisted of 1,010 men, including sick, teamsters, and men on extra duty. I did not believe that the advance of the enemy would be so rapid, and hoped that the artillery and re-enforcements promised would arrive before they could disturb me at Piketon. Under this confident hope I commenced gathering supplies, explored the leather resources of the country, found them abundant, and organized a corps of shoemakers, and had them at work. Major Hawes had purchased 1,000 fat hogs and a number of beef cattle, and was making preparations to salt them. My men were badly clad and badly armed, with not a knapsack, haversack, or canteen. They carried their powder in horns, gourds, and bottles. This was our condition when the enemy commenced the advance upon us. Retreat was inevitable, but there was too munch public property to be abandoned without an effort to save it. I at once ordered all the transportation possible to be collected, and sent the sick, wounded, and the live stock to the rear on the Pound Gap road, for the Tazewell route was no longer safe. I sent a small armed force immediately on the Tazewell route with written orders to turn back the artillery and all public wagons to a point of safety in Virginia. I then sent Captain Holliday, with a small mounted party, on the John’s Creek road, and Captains Thomas and {p.229} Clay on the River road to Prestonburg, to observe the movements of the enemy. This was on the night of the 8th. Captain Thomas discovered the advance guard of the enemy about 15 miles from Piketon I went in person with Captains May and Hawkins, with their companies of infantry, and Lieutenant Van Hook, with 20 mounted men, to the position of Captain Thomas, near Ivy Creek. I found that Captain Thomas had burned the bridge there. The men were allowed to refresh themselves and the horses were secured in a deep mountain cave, and the whole party of 250 men moved on foot to a strong position half a mile in front of the burned bridge, here to await what we supposed to be the advance guard of the enemy’s force.

I returned to our camp at daylight and met the report of Captain Holliday, who had been fired upon by an advanced guard of the enemy of about 150 men. He gave them a gallant fight, killed 8 of them, having only 1 of his number wounded and 1 horse killed. I dispatched Captain Shawn, with his own and Captain Cameron’s companies, to observe the movements of the enemy on John’s Creek, with instructions to engage any party not more than twice his number, but not to attack the enemy’s full force.

At 1.30 o’clock on the 9th instant the enemy moved up to Captain May’s position [Ivy Creek] with a force of 1,600 men and a battery of six pieces, and were received by 250 rifles and shot-guns, in point-blank range, every one of which took effect. Their column wavered and fell back, but returned in good order, and attempted to carry the pass by assault under cover of their cannon, but were repulsed again with terrific slaughter. They then withdrew beyond the range of our shot-guns, and their infantry up the hills soon outflanked our little band, compelling them to fall back behind the burned bridge. Here our force made a stand, but the enemy advanced no farther. I then ordered three more companies of infantry to sustain Captain May’s command or to cover his retreat if necessary.

At 12 o’clock at night Captain Shawn reported to me that the enemy were advancing in full force on the John’s Creek road with great rapidity. I then ordered Captains May, Shawn, and all the outposts in. I made a display of forces in Piketon, sent the exhausted infantry in the direction of our retreat, and waited with the balance of the command the arrival of the enemy. They came up slowly and cautiously, but were detained for an hour by Captain Thomas’ company of sharp-shooters, stationed near the ford, which prevented their artillery from getting into position to rake the town. As they approached I moved the rear guard of 400 men off in good order. They opened upon us a tremendous fire of artillery and musketry, and were replied to by our sharpshooters. We had 1 man killed and 3 wounded, while the enemy had 6 killed.

In the Ivy fight our loss was 10 killed, 15 wounded, and 40 missing. Some of the missing men have gone back to their homes, and others join us daily. We lost Lieutenant Rust, who fell gallantly in the discharge of his duty. My first belief was that the enemy had lost but 150 men, but from subsequent information received from spies, Union men, escaped prisoners who have joined us, and others who have examined their burial ground, I am satisfied the enemy lost over 300 in killed, with the usual proportion of wounded. I cannot speak in terms of commendation too high of the gallantry of Captains May, Thomas, Hawkins, and Clay, and Lieutenant Van Hook and Sam Clay. Indeed, the officers and men behaved with so much courage and coolness that to discriminate at all would be invidious.

{p.230}

If we had had 1,000 men more and a battery of six pieces we could have whipped and destroyed both columns; but with the small force I had it was impossible to fight both at once, and to have exposed my whole force to one would have exposed my rear to the other. Our cartridge-boxes arrived the other day after the fight. We had powder and lead, and made our own cartridges and molded our own bullets.

The enemy have 6,000 troops near Piketon; 1,000 of them advanced 10 miles this side of that place. They have not more than 1,500 at Prestonburg. What they have below as reserves I know but little of for all communication is cut off and the whole country is frightened out of its wits, and but few men will act as scouts or guides. I am satisfied that this large force was not moved up the Sandy merely for the purpose of dispersing the unorganized and half-armed, barefooted squad under my command. They intended to move upon the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, I think, by way of the Tazewell Court-House. They fortify their positions, and have a large number of wagons. The Sandy is now navigable for steamboats to a point above Piketon.

We want good rifles, clothes, great-coats, knapsacks, haversacks, and canteens-indeed, everything, almost, except a willingness to fight. Many of our men are barefooted, and I have seen the blood in their tracks as they marched from Ivy to this place. You know what we want, general. Send such articles as we need to Abingdon. There is but little subsistence here, and I fear I shall be compelled to fall back to a point where I can subsist until our organization is perfected. We have been so constantly fighting that we have not had time to complete our muster rolls. I have now over 1,200 men. If I could make a forward movement the effect would be good upon the country.

Mr. Thomas has just received from the governor of Florida a commission as aide-de-camp, with rank of colonel. I cannot insist on retaining him from such increased rank. Send somebody else.

If the enemy should move by way of the Pound I have not a sufficient force to resist them-no artillery, no intrenching tools, nor axes, spades, or picks. If they come we will give them a fight but this will do us no good but to destroy a few of them.

I have just learned from a spy that a steamboat arrived at Piketon yesterday with supplies to the enemy.

Major Hawes wants more money. He has bought hogs, horses, wagons, &c.

Your obedient servant,

JNO. S. WILLIAMS, Colonel, C. S. A.

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NOVEMBER 8-18, 1861.– Revolt of the Unionists in East Tennessee.

SUMMARY OF THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS.

Nov. 8-9, 1861.–Destruction of railroad bridges by Union men.
10, 1861.–Skirmish near Bristol.
15, 1861.–Dispersion of Unionists’ camp near Chattanooga.
18, 1861.–Capture of Unionists at Doe River.

Miscellaneous reports, correspondence, and orders of the Confederate authorities.

BOWLING GREEN, KY., November 9, 1861.

Governor HARRIS, Nashville:

From our information the destruction of the railways and telegraphs near Chattanooga, Cleveland, and Dalton cannot be the work of the {p.231} enemy’s troops, but of the disaffected in North Alabama and East Tennessee.

I beg your excellency to use every exertion to ascertain the extent, power, and organization of this insurrection, if, as I fear, one exists; and most urgently I press your excellency to leave no means untried to put arms into the hands of your unarmed levies.

A. S. JOHNSTON, General.

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KNOXVILLE, November 9, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

Two large bridges on my road were burned last night about 12 o’clock; also one bridge on the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad at the same time, and an effort made to burn the largest bridge on my road. There is great excitement along the whole line of road, and evidence that the Union party are organizing and preparing to destroy or take possession of the whole line from Bristol and Chattanooga, and unless the Government is very prompt in giving us the necessary military aid, I much fear the result. The only hope for protection must be from the Government. Unless the Government gives us the necessary aid and protection at once, transportation over my road of army supplies will be an utter impossibility. It cannot be done. We have arrested four of the individuals engaged in burning one bridge, and know who burned another, but for want of the necessary military force fear we cannot arrest them.

JOHN H. BRANNER, President East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad.

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KNOXVILLE, November 9, 1861.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

DEAR SIR: I have just time to say that the bridge at Charleston over Hiawassee River, on East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad, was burned last night by the Lincolnites, and that the bridge at Strawberry Plains, on East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad, over the Holston, was set on fire and the guard badly, if not mortally, wounded. It shows that there is a concerted movement among them to destroy the railroad bridges and cut off communication from one portion of the Southern Confederacy with the other. A worse state of feeling never prevailed in East Tennessee than at the present moment. The belief that the enemy are about to enter our borders has emboldened them to such an extent that there is no telling what damage they may do. I believe it important that you should have this information at once. On this account I have thus hastily given you such information as I have obtained.

Very respectfully,

H. G. FAIN, Brigade Commissary.

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BRISTOL, November 9, 1861.

Hon. JOHN LETCHER:

DEAR SIR: Upon the oath of J. H. Rudd, conductor of the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad Company, and news received from A. {p.232} M. Millard, the representative of Sullivan County, Tennessee, by note, whose handwriting was testified to by George Pile and Jos. R. Anderson, I do hereby inform you that the bridge across the Holston was burned last night by about 50 Union men, and that a Union force is now assembling near Watauga Bridge, reported to number about 500, for the purpose of attacking Captain McClellan’s troops, now stationed at the bridge, and burning the bridge, and ask aid, as we are unable to form any idea of the result of this, and furthermore state that all communication between this place and Nashville by railroad and telegraph is cut off, and ask that you appeal to President Davis to call out the militia of East Tennessee to suppress rebellion.

WM. F. MOORE, J. P., Washington County, Virginia.

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JACKSBOROUGH, November 9, 1861.

Col. W. B. WOOD, Sixteenth Alabama Regiment, Knoxville, Tenn.:

SIR: Your dispatch just received informing me of the burning of Hiawassee bridge and other bridges on the railroad, and asking for re-enforcements. Colonel Powell’s regiment being 5 miles from here, on the Knoxville road. I have sent him an order to march at daylight in the morning for Knoxville, making a forced march. He is instructed to communicate with you immediately on his arrival. You will be in command, and will make such disposition of the forces as you may think advisable.

Brig. Gen. W. H. Carroll’s three regiments have been ordered to report to me, but have not reported, and I have no knowledge where they are. I have expected them by now at Knoxville. Have you any knowledge where they are? Have the inclosed dispatches transmitted by telegraph, if the wires are not cut. Inform me daily of the facts in your knowledge connected with the wires and railroads. Send dispatch to Memphis or wherever else he may be.

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General.

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CAMP MCGINNIS, NEAR JAMESTOWN, November 9, 1861.

Col. W. B. WOOD:

SIR: I received a dispatch from General Zollicoffer last evening, dated 6th instant, at the Cumberland Gap, informing me that he would move his headquarters to Jacksborough, 9th. This dispatch came directly through by Huntsville, and I have dispatched him by the same route. I sent Captain Ragsdale’s company on the road near Huntsville several days ago, with instructions to break up the communication with the enemy that way. They attempted to arrest a mail-carrier in that section, and failed; he had absconded; they got his mail, arms, &c., and on their return to camp were fired on by 30 tories from ambush, killing 2 horses only. They sent to me for re-enforcements. I sent Captain -, with company, night before last to their relief; have heard nothing from them since. From the best information I can get there are no Federal troops south of Cumberland River, except a small force of 300 {p.233} or 400 five miles east of Monticello. I expect Colonels Stanton and Murray here to-morrow.

Yours, truly,

GEO. R. MCCLELLAN, Lieutenant-Colonel.

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KNOXVILLE, November 10, 1861.

General ZOLLICOFFER:

SIR: Information has been received that Mr. Hodgson, a member of the legislature, has been making a treasonable speech over in Sevier County. He is also suspected as having a knowledge, if not an instigator, of the burning of the bridges. He was here yesterday morning, and we would have arrested him, but he made his escape, and may probably try to get through your lines somewhere. He ought to be arrested. Five of the incendiaries who burned the Lick Creek Bridge have been arrested. I have sent up after them. The bridge at Union has been destroyed; one at Charleston; two on the Western and Atlantic Road below Chattanooga.

Regretting as much as any one this calamity, I feel that I did all that I could to prevent it, and I am glad that it is no worse. I had a company at Lick Creek, but the incendiaries deceived them, and getting possession of their guns, took them prisoners and accomplished their ends. I send you a Register, from which you will see some of the measures I have taken for the present as being necessary under the circumstances.

What shall I do with the prisoners?

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. B. WOOD.

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LOUDON, TENN., November 10, 1861.

Col. W. B. WOOD, Commanding:

DEAR SIR: Captain Cawood’s company arrived here at 6 o’clock yesterday evening, and are pitching their tents to-day at the northern end of the bridge, while Captain Eldridge is encamped at the southern end. Extra pickets and sentinels were posted during the night, but no demonstration was made from any quarter, and the night was passed in quiet.

The Union feeling of this county is exceedingly bitter, and all they want, in my opinion, to induce a general uprising is encouragement from the Lincoln armies by the introduction or advance of Lincoln armies. They have a great many arms, and are actually manufacturing Union flags to receive the refugee Tennesseeans when they return. They are getting bold enough to avow their purposes. If we were strong enough, or had one or two more companies, a great many arms could be procured in this neighborhood. I mean if we had the force to spare from the bridge.

Very respectfully,

T. J. CANNON, Major, Commanding.

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LYNCHBURG, November 10, 1861.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, President Confederate States:

I have received dispatches from Bristol and other points asking me to apply to you for assistance, which with the fact that the bridge over {p.234} Holston River was burned on Friday night and the track torn up, induces me to apply to you for a small force, to be detailed to guard the bridges in this State until we can make some arrangement to do so ourselves. There are two regiments-Trigg’s and Moore’s-now at Abingdon and Wytheville, if the men could be spared for a few days. I go with carpenters and lumber to Tennessee this evening to assist in rebuilding bridge. I make my application to you direct, confident it will receive attention.

RO. L. OWEN, President Virginia and Tennessee Railroad.

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RICHMOND, November 10, 1861.

H. L. OWEN, President Railroad, Lynchburg:

Your dispatch received. Colonel Leadbetter, of Engineer Corps, will leave in the morning with a battalion and battery of field pieces. He is charged with the duty of restoring and guarding the communications. Other forces will be sent to him via Chattanooga. Your earnest cooperation with him is relied on by the President.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, November 10, 1861.

General B. BRAGG, Pensacola:

The President desires that you send one regiment of your command with the least delay to Chattanooga, with orders to report to Colonel Leadbetter, of Engineer Corps, who is charged with the special duty of restoring and maintaining the communications that have been interrupted by the burning of the railroad bridges by bands of traitors. He thinks it best to send one of the Alabama regiments now at Mobile, but leaves you to exercise your own discretion in choosing the regiment to be sent. This is so urgent as to admit of no delay, but the regiment will be restored to you the moment we cam replace it. Other forces are dispatched from here to perform the same duty at Bristol, where another bridge has been burned.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, November 10 1861.

General W. H. CARROLL, Memphis:

Proceed with the least possible delay to re-enforce General Zollicoffer with all your armed men, and leave some reliable officer to arm the remainder, and move them to Zollicoffer’s aid as fast as possible.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, November 10, 1861.

Col. D. LEADBETTER:

COLONEL: Herewith you will receive an order to report to Tennessee, to keep up the line of communication by rail between Bristol and Chattanooga, Tennessee. Upon arriving in Tennessee you are authorized {p.235} to call upon the railroad companies, and also upon communities in vicinity of railroad, for aid and material, employing both where necessary, giving certificates usual in such cases. While reconstructing bridges and repairing the roads you will give due care to the telegraph communication, re-establishing it where interfered with, exercising in this the authority granted with regard to the road. To enable you to carry out these instructions Stovall’s battalion, with a light battery, will be ordered to report to you at Bristol, and a regiment ordered from General Bragg at Chattanooga, to be so disposed of as may best secure successful accomplishment of your orders. You will report to General A. S. Johnston by letter your arrival in Tennessee, the nature of your instructions, also advising General Zollicoffer to the same effect. Full and frequent reports are desired of your operations, respecting condition of the road, and disposition of the population adjacent, thereto.

I am, sir, respectfully, &c.,

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

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WYTHEVILLE, November 10, 1861.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

Following dispatch received:

Mr. Branner, president East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad, came up this evening, and says Union men are gathering; about 1,500 at Carter’s Depot. See commander of forces at Wytheville and urge him to come out. This is no sensation report, but truth. Bridges have been burned on East Tennessee Road. General Marshall left here for Kentucky to-day. Commanders of forces here have marching orders to follow. Will you comply with request and send troops from here to Tennessee? Reply. Battery and one regiment here.

B. C. KENT.

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MEMPHIS, November 11, 1861.

Major-General POLK:

Please Send me all the guns and accouterments that can be spared to Chattanooga. I will move one regiment in the morning. You will see by the dispatches how urgent the necessity is.

WM. H. CARROLL.

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CLEVELAND, TENN., November 11, 1861.

JEFFERSON DAVIS, President:

Several bridges burned on E. T. Road. The country in great excitement and terror. The Twenty-third Regiment, Colonel Hutcherson’s, Georgia Volunteers, leaving Camp McDonald to-day for Richmond. Can you order them temporarily to Knoxville, Tenn.? You could dispatch to Marietta and Augusta, Ga.

J. W. LEWIS, Supt, E. T. and Va. R. R.

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BRISTOL, November 11, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

I have just returned from the burned bridge. We have at the next bridge, 10 miles beyond, about 250 men, under Captain McClellan. {p.236} They have two cannon, which they found on the cars, and which were given to them by General Charles Clark, who stopped until this morning with them. The camp of the enemy is at N. G. Taylor’s, 5 miles distant, with about 400 men. Another camp, at Elizabethtown, 2 miles farther, is said to contain 500 men. The two may be confounded. There is no doubt but that re-enforcements are every moment reaching them from Watauga County, North Carolina, and Johnson, Carter, and Washington Counties, Tennessee. These counties can furnish about 2,000 Lincolnites, and each fresh occasion emboldens them. They threaten to burn Watauga Bridge to-night. Should they be successful, it will bring forward hundreds now quiet. It is all-important they should be disposed of before they unite their different forces, now ranging from 50 to 500. A fight occurred last night between 22 of our scouts and the main camp of the enemy. We captured 2, killed 9, and lost none. I have given orders for all trains to give way to the troop trains now coming forward. They will reach here to-morrow morning. Can I do anything for you?

RO. L. OWEN, President Virginia and Tennessee Railroad.

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KNOXVILLE, November 11, 1861.

Adjutant-General COOPER:

Three bridges burned between Bristol and Chattanooga, two on Georgia road. Five hundred Union men now threatening Strawberry Plains. Fifteen hundred assembling in Hamilton County, and a general uprising in all the counties. I have about 1,000 men under my command.

W. B. WOOD, Colonel.

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KNOXVILLE, November 11, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General:

SIR: My fears, expressed to you by letters and dispatches of 4th and 5th instant, have been realized by the destruction of no less than five railroad bridges, two on the East Tennessee and Virginia road, one on the East Tennessee and Georgia road, and two on the Western and Atlantic road. The indications were apparent to me, but I was powerless to avert it. The whole country is now in a state of rebellion. A thousand men are within 6 miles of Strawberry Plains Bridge, and an attack is contemplated to-morrow. I have sent Colonel Powell there with 200 infantry, one company cavalry, and about 100 citizens, armed with shotguns and country rifles. Five hundred Unionists left Hamilton County to-day, we suppose to attack London Bridge. I have Major Campbell there with 200 infantry and one company cavalry. I have about the same force at this point and a cavalry company at Watauga Bridge. An attack was make on Watauga yesterday. Our men succeeded in beating them off, but they are gathering in larger force, and may renew it in a day or two. They are not yet fully organized, and have no subsistence to enable them to hold out long. A few regiments and vigorous means would have a powerful effect in putting it down. A mild or conciliating policy will do no good; they must be punished, and some of the leaders ought to be punished to the extent of the law. Nothing short of this will give quiet to the country.

{p.237}

General Zollicoffer, at great inconvenience to himself, has sent me Colonel Powell’s regiment, numbering about 600 effective men, which I have disposed of as above stated. I have arrested 6 of the men who were engaged in burning the Lick Creek Bridge, and I desire to have instructions from you as to the proper disposition of them. The slow course of civil law in punishing such incendiaries, it seems to me, will not have the salutary effect which is desirable. I learn from two gentlemen just arrived that another camp is being formed about 10 miles from here in Sevier County, and already 300 are in camp. They are being re-enforced from Blount, Roane, Johnson, Greene, Carter, and other counties. I need not say that great alarm is felt by the few Southern men. They are finding places of safety for their families, and would gladly enlist if we had arms to furnish them. I have had all the arms in this city seized, and authorized Major Campbell to impress all he can find in the hands of Union men, who ought now to be regarded as avowed enemies, for the use of the new companies. I felt it to be my duty to place this city under martial law, as there was a large majority of the people sympathizing with the enemy, and communicating with them by the unfrequented mountain paths, and to prevent surprise and the destruction of the commissary and quartermaster’s stores.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. B. WOOD, Colonel, Commanding Post.

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JACKSBOROUGH, TENN., November 11, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: The communication of the 26th ultimo from your office, apprising me that three regiments, under command of Brigadier-General Carroll, had been ordered to report to me, reached me only yesterday. The mail through this portion of East Tennessee is unreliable. I am under the necessity of establishing and relying upon a line of express messengers between my headquarters and Knoxville. Col. W. B. Wood, Sixteenth Alabama Regiment, is commandant at that post, and letters for me directed to Knoxville to his care will immediately reach me. General Carroll has just informed me, by letter from Memphis, that he has but one regiment armed. I telegraphed you yesterday the news communicated to me of the burning of the bridges. I learn to-day the telegraph wires are destroyed for about 15 miles. Colonel Wood also states that he has news that about 500 East Tennessee Federalists are marching on the Holston Bridge, a few miles above Knoxville, and that about 1,500 Federalists, of Hamilton County, are moving toward Loudon Bridge. I sent Colonel Wood a regiment, which probably reached Knoxville last night. I incline to the opinion the above-named reports are much exaggerated; but there are many indications that the Federalists in East Tennessee believe a large force from Kentucky are to invade us immediately and simultaneously at different points, and are intending, by concert of action in threatening the destruction of the railroad, to distract and derange our plans of defense.

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General

{p.238}

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MEMPHIS, TENN., November 12, 1861.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: Your telegram of the 11th instant (ordering me to advance to the support of General Zollicoffer) has just reached me. I am deeply mortified that I have been unable to move my command at an earlier day, but the want of transportation, and the unexpected failure to obtain my arms, have rendered any movement of my forces both useless and unsafe. Knowing the urgent necessity which has and yet exists for prompt and vigorous action in East Tennessee and Northern Kentucky, I have used every exertion to place my brigade in such a condition as to act effectively in the field. I took measures some weeks prior to my appointment to secure arms sufficient to arm three regiments. These consisted of such guns as were furnished by the recruits themselves together with others of a similar kind which I had procured by various means throughout the country. Some two months since I distributed 1,600 rifles among the different armories in the State, viz, Memphis, Nashville, Pulaski, and Columbia, where I had supposed they would be rapidly repaired and fitted for use. When I received your written orders, forwarded me through Col. H. C. Young, I dispatched an officer to each one of the places mentioned, with instructions to forward all the guns that had been repaired to Knoxville, Tenn., to which point I had intended to advance with all my force then ready for service, but, much to my regret and surprise, I then learned but little progress had been made in the work of repairing. I was assured, however, by the army officers in command at these places that everything would be ready in a very short time. My movements were therefore delayed from day to day, in the hope that the guns would be completed and my command thoroughly and perfectly armed. In this expectation I have up to the present time been sadly disappointed. The guns deposited in the armory at this place would have been completed but for the breaking, of the armory machinery, which was only repaired a day or two since. The work is now being pushed forward as rapidly as possible. So soon as I ascertained that my arms could not be obtained for some time to come, I set about securing such guns as would answer in the sudden emergency brought about by the recent unfriendly demonstrations made in East Tennessee. With these (shot-guns, country rifles, and old muskets) I armed Colonel Looney’s regiment, and moved it yesterday morning in the direction of General Zollicoffer’s position. Another regiment (Colonel White’s) was to-day armed in a similar manner, and will move tomorrow in the same direction. The remainder of my brigade will be brought into the field as soon as I can possibly arm them mu any way whatever.

I deem it proper to make this explanation of the causes which have so long kept me idle, in order that you may properly understand the difficulties under which I have labored. I shall continue to act as promptly as circumstances will permit. In the mean time I will keep you constantly advised of my future movements. I have apprised General Zollicoffer that my command is approaching to his support. When I shall have reached him, I have but little doubt that we will be able to quell the insurrectionary spirit which I learn is springing up in the eastern portion of our State and to hold in check any force which may be advancing from Western Virginia or Northern Kentucky.

Very respectfully,

WM. H. CARROLL, Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.

{p.239}

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JONESBOROUGH, TENN., November 12, 1861.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, President, &c.:

SIR: Civil war has broken out at length in East Tennessee. In the late election scarcely a so called Union man voted. Neither Mr. Nelson nor any of the released men who had been sworn to be faithful to the Southern Confederacy voted upon the occasion, and there appeared a simultaneous assault upon our line of railroads from Georgia to the Georgia line. In this county (Washington) the secession strength is about equal to the Union force, but our force is much weakened by five volunteer companies now in the service. In Carter and Johnson Counties, northeast of this, the Union strength is not only as formidable, but it is as violent, as that of any of the Northwestern Virginia counties. Had they the power not a secessionist would live in this region. The hostile element in those counties and also in Greene is so strong, that I give it as my firm conviction that it will neither abate nor be conciliated. They look confidently for the re-establishment of the Federal authority in the South with as much confidence as the Jews look for the coming of the Messiah, and I feel quite sure when I assert it that no event or circumstance can change or modify their hopes. In this state of affairs this part, and, indeed, all of East Tennessee, will be subjected during the war to apprehensions of internal revolt; more or less remote, as the tide of war turns in this direction. The recent bridge burning in this section was occasioned by the hope that the Federal troops would be here in a few days from Kentucky to second their efforts. We will crush out the rebellion here in a week or ten days, but to prevent its recurrence should be a matter of anxious consideration. Upon this subject I have the honor of making the following suggestions to your excellency:

The expatriation requiring alien enemies to dispose of their effects and leave with their families should be enforced. Should they not do so voluntarily, on proof being submitted that they were in arms or hostile to the Government they should be forced to leave on due notice, with their families. A man with his family with him in the North will do us no great harm. He will not enlist there, for he will have to support his family.

By removing the hostile element from our counties we have peace, and the Southern men can then enter the Army, because they know that their families are safe at home. By leaving this hostile element here we will never have peace, but be subject to constant alarm, these men rising up at every turn of events to harass us. I submit this suggestion to your excellency’s careful attention. There are now camped in and about Elizabethtown, in Carter County, some 1,200 or 1,500 men, armed with a motley assortment of guns, in open defiance of the Confederate States of America, and who are awaiting a movement of the Federal troops from Kentucky to march forward and take possession of the railroad. These men are gathered up from three or five counties in this region, and comprise the hostile Union element of this section, and never will be appeased, conciliated, or quieted in a Southern Confederacy. I make this assertion positively, and you may take it for what it is worth. We can and will in a few days disperse them, but when will they break out again? I am satisfied the only hope for our quiet and repose and our co-operation without hinderance in the present revolution is the expatriation voluntarily or by force of this hostile element.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. G. GRAHAM.

{p.240}

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RICHMOND, November 12, 1861.

JOHN R. BRANNER, President Railroad Company, Knoxville, via Bristol:

Troops have already been sent to protect your road. Be sure you shall be fully and thoroughly protected.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, November 12, 1861.

R. C. KENT, Wytheville, Va.:

No change must be made about movement of troops at Wytheville. Other arrangements have been made to send forces to Tennessee.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, November 12, 1861.

J. W. LEWIS, Superintendent Railroad, Cleveland, Tenn.:

An armed Alabama regiment will arrive at Chattanooga to-day for the protection of the road. It is no use to stop the Georgia troops, which are not armed. Be assured we will take care of your defense.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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BOWLING GREEN, November 12, 1861.

Governor HARRIS, Nashville:

From Colonel Wood, commanding at Knoxville, under date of November 11, I have the following dispatch, viz:

Three brides burned between Bristol and Chattanooga, two on Georgia road; 500 Union men now threatening Strawberry Plains; 1,500 assembling in Hamilton County; a general uprising in all the counties. I have about 1,000 men under my command.

Says Wood, “I cannot detach my troops from this point.” I have heard that your excellency has some 500 arms on hand, and I now inform you that I will send to East Tennessee the volunteers now at the rendezvous as fast as they can be armed. This is my only resource.

I hope your excellency will use the entire force of the State to quell this insurrection.

A. S. JOHNSTON, General.

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NASHVILLE, November 12, 1861.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS:

The burning of railroad bridges in East Tennessee shows a deep-seated spirit of rebellion in that section. Union men are organizing. This rebellion must be crushed out instantly, the leaders arrested, and summarily punished. I shall send immediately about 10,000 men to that section; cannot arm larger force at present. If you can possibly send from Western Virginia a number of Tennessee regiments to East Tennessee we can at once repair the bridges and crush out the rebellion. I hope to be able very soon to collect a large number of sporting {p.241} guns in the State to arm our volunteers, and will co-operate with the Government to the fullest extent of my ability in all respects. If a part only of the Tennessee troops in Western Virginia shall be sent, I would prefer Anderson’s brigade.

ISHAM G. HARRIS.

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BOWLING GREEN, KY., November 12, 1861.

Governor HARRIS, Nashville:

Telegram received. Arm Cook’s regiment at Camp Trousdale and order it to Clarksville, where it will await the orders of the commander of the forces to be expected from Columbus in four or five days.

Organize into a regiment the eight companies remaining at Trousdale, arm them, have them mustered into service, and send this regiment to East Tennessee as soon as possible. Add the two companies as soon as they can be filled.

I approve heartily of the purchase of arms as proposed by you, but I cannot guarantee the payment. There is an appropriation of the Confederate Congress for the purchase of arms. No portion of this has been put at my disposal, nor have I any special authority to purchase arms; but I do not doubt that in this emergency the Government will sanction my purchase, and pay for them if the appropriation is not exhausted, or appeal successfully for an additional appropriation if exhausted. In this expectation I have already authorized purchases for limited amounts.

A. S. JOHNSTON, General.

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JACKSBOROUGH, November 12, 1861.

General S. COOPER:

Colonel Wood, Knoxville, writes that 500 tories threaten movement on Strawberry Plains, and 1,500 from Hamilton County moving towards Loudon Bridge. Colonel Churchwell, Cumberland Gap, has information indicating a strong force along from 6 miles beyond Barboursville to Rockcastle Camp, fortifying as they advance. I will have the pass blocked in two days. General Carroll has one armed regiment, but has not forwarded it. Please cause Church well’s requisition of 22d October for ammunition and implements for three 8-inch howitzers to be filled and expressed to him.

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General.

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JACKSBOROUGH, November 12, 1861.

Col. W. B. WOOD, Knoxville:

SIR: I have cavalry scouts out on the road to Somerset and Williamsburg, which I expect in to-night. I have working parties back on the road from Jacksborough to Chitwood’s, 16 miles, and on the Big Creek road, 13 miles, which I do not wish to call in, if possible to avoid it. I have therefore thought it best not immediately to make any movement in reference to the reports you yesterday transmitted as to the 500 and the 1,500 tories. Unless you are satisfied the news is entirely reliable you should spare no pains, through cavalry scouts or citizen outriders, {p.242} or true and reliable men living in the specified neighborhoods, to ascertain the precise facts, if possible, and transmit them to me, to General Cooper, to Lieutenant-Colonel Mackall, and to Brigadier-General Carroll. I am in doubt whether my dispatches to those gentlemen were transmitted by telegraph. Please keep me advised as to the means of sending telegraphic dispatches.

The tories will probably circulate the most exaggerated and baseless stories, with a view to distract and cripple our movements. Our friends will readily give credence to them in apprehension of danger. It becomes us, therefore, to investigate these rumors and act cautiously, to avoid useless and harassing marches. I may send Captain Ashby’s squadron down the country to look after Clift; but I would prefer, before beginning to dispose of my forces, to see more distinctly the force and movements of the enemy, and to be informed how you are placing the cavalry and infantry at your disposal. If I am not mistaken, there are four cavalry companies with you or on the line of the railroad. Where are they now placed? I may soon move an infantry force much nearer the London Bridge, but prefer to await certain knowledge of necessity for it.

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General.

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JACKSBOROUGH, November 12, 1861.

Col. W. B. WOOD, Knoxville:

SIR: The expressman reached me this evening at 9 o’clock with two letters from you, both dated 11th November. You say that the force at Papaw Hollow is augmenting from the adjoining counties. Please state what county Papaw Hollow is in. You say you inclose me a dispatch from John L. Hopkins, Chattanooga; but no dispatch was inclosed. I have two cavalry companies under Captain Rowan, near Oliver’s, on road from Knoxville to Montgomery, and two near Huntsville, on road from Chitwood’s to Montgomery; but your omission to send the dispatch of Hopkins and only incidental allusion to cutting somebody off near Kingston leaves me at a loss what orders to send them. Please give me all the information you have which will enable me to intercept any body of tories attempting to pass towards Montgomery, Jamestown, Huntsville, or Post Oak Springs.

I rejoice that you have caught six of the bridge-burners. I am yet unadvised what precise bridges are actually destroyed, or whether my intended telegraphic dispatches are really transmitted over the wires. Have you any news from Colonel Carroll’s regiment or any other re-enforcement? I will to-morrow send dispatches to the forces near Jamestown, the cavalry near Huntsville, that near Oliver’s and start out the cavalry here, to commence simultaneously disarming the Union inhabitants. You will please simultaneously send orders to all detachments under your command to inaugurate the same movement at the same time in their various localities. Their leaders should be seized and held as prisoners. The leniency shown them has been unavailing. They have acted with base duplicity, and should no longer be trusted.

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General.

{p.243}

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JONESBOROUGH, TENN., November 13, 1861.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War:

The Lincolnites are forming an encampment at Elizabethton; now have from 1,000 to 1,300 men, and more coming, within 6 miles of our railroad, at Watauga Bridge. They also have from 600 to 1,000 men near Strawberry Plains Bridge, the most important and expensive bridge on our road, and still collecting in greater numbers, and threatening to take and burn the bridge and take possession of the road. If these two bridges are burned our road stops. The demonstrations are such in East Tennessee that a much larger force is necessary. They are cutting the telegraph wires as fast as we put them up.

JOHN R. BRANNER, President East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad.

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RICHMOND, November 13, 1861.

JOHN H. BRANNER, President R. R. Co., Jonesborough, Tenn.:

Troops are now moving to East Tennessee to crush the traitors. You shall be amply protected.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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NASHVILLE, TENN., November 14, 1861.

Muster all the armed forces possible without calling on Zollicoffer, and capture Clift and his men, dead or alive. Colonel Cook’s regiment will reach Chattanooga to-night. Looney’s regiment there, but not fully armed.

ISHAM G. HARRIS.

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ATHENS, TENN. November 14, 1861.

Colonel WOOD:

General Zollicoffer writes that he has taken measures to intercept Clift’s men and others should they try to reach Kentucky, and orders 500 of Looney’s regiment to press Clift’s followers. I have not telegraphed Looney, because your orders and General Zollicoffer’s are substantially the same.

T. I. CAMPBELL, Major.

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JACKSBOROUGH, November 14, 1861.

General COOPER, Adjutant-General:

Colonel Churchwell, Cumberland Gap, reports his pickets at Cumberland Ford attacked by enemy’s pickets. Lieutenant-Colonel McClellan, near Jamestown, reports four regiments of enemy near Monticello; 500 tories embodied in Rhea and Hamilton, probably trying to get to Kentucky. Tories said to be embodied for battle in Carter and Johnson; several hundred embodied in Sevier. One of Carroll’s regiments probably arrived; will be used near railroad. I have ordered all posts and detachments to disarm Union men and seize leaders; have made dispositions to cut off and crush tories of Rhea, Hamilton, and Sevier. Blockade here nearly complete. One regiment marches for Wartburg to-day.

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General.

{p.244}

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HEADQUARTERS RIFLE BRIGADE, Chattanooga, November 15, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

The ordnance officer at Nashville telegraphed me that none of my guns have been turned in, though the work was distributed. The machinery at Memphis broke, and none have been furnished here. I have moved 1,600 men to this point, with about 800 guns of every description. Order 2,400 to be sent me from those landed at Savannah, and I will give a good report from East Tennessee.

W. H. CARROLL, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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RICHMOND, November 17, 1861.

Brigadier-General CARROLL, Chattanooga, Tenn.:

All the arms received at Savannah that could be spared for the West have been forwarded to General A. S. Johnston.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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KNOXVILLE, TENN., November 17, 1861.

Lieutenant-Colonel MACKALL, Bowling Green, Ky.:

SIR: Having blockaded the roads over the mountains near Jacksborough, and believing the fortifications at Cumberland Gap very strong, I do not think an army train of the enemy can pass the mountains anywhere between the Pound Gap, in Virginia, and Jacksborough, a distance of about 120 miles. I have started the regiments of Colonels Statham, Newman, Cummings, and Battle, the first battalion of the Sixteenth Alabama Regiment, and Branner’s battalion of cavalry, with Rutledge’s battery, around by Wartburg, on the way to Jamestown, Tenn., and Monticello, Ky.

I came here rapidly last night to obtain more definite information of the state of things along the line of the railroad and among the tories generally. I will leave for Wartburg this evening, feeling that there is no necessity for remaining longer. General Carroll telegraphs me from Chattanooga that he is there with two regiments, half armed. I have ordered him here, with such of his command as are not engaged in pursuing Clift, a leading tory of Hamilton County, and his followers. Three different expeditions are moving from different points upon Clift’s men. I fear they will disperse and take to the mountain fastnesses, eluding our forces. A Pensacola regiment, I learn, is at Chattanooga, and a regiment from Virginia is near Elizabethton, I hear. The present indications are that the tories are about being rapidly overwhelmed. I am seizing arms of Union men known to be inimical to Confederate Government, and hope in this way to arm Carroll’s men who are not already armed. I propose to take and strengthen a position between Monticello and Somerset, giving us facilities for commanding the Cumberland River, the coal region supplying Nashville, &c. If I can clear the banks of the Cumberland of our enemies, supplies may this winter be furnished us by boats from Nashville. So soon as the state of things will justify, I would be pleased that General Carroll’s brigade would support me in a forward movement.

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General.

{p.245}

P. S.-I should probably state to you more in detail what I telegraphed on the 15th, that I have information I think reliable that the enemy have no infantry nearer Cumberland Gap than London, where there are four regiments. They have about 200 cavalry at Barboursville. They have, I think, three regiments at Somerset, and are raising a fourth. They have a regiment at Crab Orchard, one at Rockcastle Camp, and one at Camp Dick Robinson. I suppose they have a regiment of cavalry at Somerset and near Monticello. My information is that six regiments, under General Nelson, advanced on Prestonburg, before whom Colonel Williams has retired through the Pound Gap.

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General.

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BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS, Chattanooga, Tenn., November 17, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond:

SIR: In obedience to orders two regiments moved to this point. Affairs are not so bad as reported. Suppose that Col. S. A. M. Wood has reported to the War Department a full account of his expedition against Clift and the breaking up of his camp. Five prisoners taken with arms. To-night I send a reconnoitering force to North Chickamauga Creek, where the citizens are mostly disloyal, and a good many in open rebellion. As soon as sufficient information can be obtained a larger force will be sent to capture Clift and his troops. So soon as they return I will move to join General Zollicoffer at Jacksborough. Regret that arms suitable for service cannot be procured in Tennessee. Have left nothing undone in attempting to obtain them. So far, however, have secured only common rifles, double-barreled shot-guns, and flint-lock muskets, very few being at all serviceable. The boring and rifling machine in the ordnance department at Memphis failed entirely to meet expectations. Have 600 rifles distributed for repairing at Murfreesborough, Pulaski, and Nashville, but can get no information as to the time it will take to finish them. Would thank you to order 2,400 guns from Savannah. Half arm me, and I will give you a good report at the earliest opportunity. Colonel Amy’s regiment will move to join me in a few days. He needs a few companies. They are reported, but not in camp. I inclose you a copy of oath and bond I have taken from Union prisoners taken before my arrival.

Very respectfully,

W. H. CARROLL, Brigadier-General.

[Inclosure.]

We, ___ ____ and___ ___, acknowledge ourselves indebted to the Confederate States of America, jointly and severally, in the sum of $10,000, but to be void if ___ ____ shall faithfully and honestly support the Constitution and laws of the Confederate States of America, and if he shall faithfully and honestly render true allegiance to said Confederate States in all things; and if he shall not directly or indirectly, by writing, talking, or otherwise, seditiously or rebelliously attempt to excite prejudice in the mind of any person or persons against the existence, perpetuity, or prosperity of said Confederate States; and if he shall not in any manner, directly or indirectly, aid, assist, encourage, {p.246} or advise the United States, or any officer, agent, or adherent thereof, in the present war against the Confederate States.

Witness our hands and seals this - November, 1861.

___ ___ ___ ___

I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully and honestly support the Constitution and laws of the Confederate States of America, and I will faithfully and honestly render true allegiance to said Confederate States in all things and in every particular; and I further swear that I will not directly or indirectly, by talking, writing, or otherwise, seditiously or rebelliously attempt to excite prejudice in the mind of any person or persons against the existence, perpetuity, or prosperity of said Confederate States; nor will I in any manner, directly or indirectly, aid, assist, encourage, or advise the United States, or any officer, agent, or adherent thereof, in the present war against the Confederate States.

___ ___

BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, November 17, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: The passes in the Cumberland Mountains at and near Jacksborough have been blockaded in such a manner as to prevent an army train of the enemy from crossing over into Tennessee. The fortifications at Cumberland Gap are now very strong. The enemy cannot now cross the Cumberland Mountains with a train anywhere between Pound Gap, in Virginia, and Jacksborough, Tenn., a distance of 120 miles. The regiments of Colonels Statham, Newman, Cummings, Battle, and First Battalion Sixteenth Alabama Regiment, with Branner’s battalion of Cavalry and Rutledge’s battery, are now moving in the direction of Monticello, Ky., by way of Wartburg and Jamestown, Tenn. The general in command came rapidly to this place last night, to learn definitely the movements of the tories along the line of railroad and in this portion of the State generally. He deems it unnecessary to remain longer here, and will leave this evening. General Carroll is at Chattanooga with two regiments half armed. He has been ordered to move such of his command to this place as is not in pursuit of Clift (a leading tory in Hamilton County) and his followers. Three expeditions are moving from different points upon Clift’s men, but it is feared they will disperse and escape to the mountains. A Pensacola regiment is at Chattanooga, and a Virginia regiment at Elizabethton, as we are informed. The present indications are that the tories are about to be overwhelmed. The arms of the Union men known to be inimical to the Confederate Government are being seized, and in this way it is hoped that Carroll’s men will soon be armed. The general proposes to take and strengthen a position between Monticello and Somerset, so as to command the Cumberland River and the coal region. Having command of the Cumberland River, supplies can be obtained from Nashville by boats. So soon as the state of things will justify, the general would be glad to have General Carroll’s brigade to support him in a forward movement.

From the best information we now have the enemy has four regiments at London, three at Somerset, and raising a fourth; one at Crab Orchard, one at Rockcastle, one at Camp Dick Robinson, and 200 cavalry at Barboursville. It is thought there is a regiment of cavalry at or near Somerset. Six regiments under General Nelson advanced on {p.247} Prestonburg, before whom Colonel Williams retired through Pound Gap, and was at Big Stone Gap the last account we had of him.

Very respectfully,

POLLOK B. LEE, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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CHATTANOOGA, November 17, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

DEAR SIR: The undersigned has the honor to report that he was ordered to this place on last Monday, the 11th instant, by Major-General Bragg, with eight companies of his command, the Seventh Regiment of Alabama Volunteers. Left Pensacola at 4 o’clock Monday; arrived at Chattanooga at 5 o’clock Thursday afternoon. I arranged by telegraph with Col. William B. Wood, of the Sixteenth Alabama Regiment, who had come from Knoxville to Athens, to make a simultaneous movement across the Tennessee River-he from Cottonport by way of Decatur and the Seventh Regiment from Chattanooga. I also ordered Colonel Gillespie and Colonel Tibbs, who were at the head of 300 mounted Home Guards, to cross in two parties of 150 each, on the right and left of the place where my regiment would land on the north side of the river, one party 8 miles above, the other 8 miles below me; and then all the different commands to move at daylight Friday morning from the Tennessee River to the supposed encampment of the enemy on Sale Creek.

The Seventh Regiment, under the immediate command of my lieutenant-colonel (Coltart) were put on a steamboat, as soon as they could cook their rations for four days, about 12 o’clock Thursday night, and just at daylight were landed 27 miles from Chattanooga, within 9 miles of the camp of the insurgents. I accompanied this part of the command. A column was formed, skirmishers thrown out, and every man and woman and negro detained as we advanced. We reached the camp ground about 11 o’clock, where about 300 of mounted Home Guards from Rhea County had arrived about five minutes in advance. Our skirmishers ordered them to halt as soon as we met, and, as they failed to do so, five guns were fired upon them as they rode off. One man slightly wounded. They then saw our flag and bayonets, and, recognizing us, halted partly, and we soon knew each other.

The insurgents dispersed the night before we arrived, after holding a council of war, in which they undertook to determine what they should do. They voted upon three propositions, there being about 200 present:

1st. Should they stay and fight? Ayes, 4-Colonel Clift, Lieutenant-Colonel Shelton, Mr. Pearson, and another.

2d. Should they endeavor to reach Kentucky? Nearly 100 voted to do so.

3d. The others voted to disperse.

In the night they all broke up, about 10 or 12 going with Colonel Clift, who is now hid in the mountains; 65 with a Captain Sullivan, who marched toward Kentucky, but who is probably still in the hills. The others fled in every way, and are hid about their respective homes or at work, denying that they had any share in the matter. I have about 12 prisoners-some of them found on their way to Sullivan, with arms, and rations cooked for six days. I ordered Col. William B. Wood back to Knoxville. The mounted men are all still scouring the country. {p.248} I have returned with my regiment to this place. I agreed to pay the steamboat $100 for the two days’ trip and carrying 650 men.

I find on my return to this place General W. H. Carroll, with three Tennessee regiments and a company of artillery with guns. In my opinion 500 infantry or one regiment here for instruction, encamped at Tyner’s, 15 miles from the city, where two bridges were burned on the railroad, and where the soldiers will get no whiskey, and one company of good mounted riflemen, can keep this part of the country perfectly quiet. They can also guard the Government provisions at this point.

General Carroll has just informed me that he will move a part of his command over 10 Sequatchie Valley and make a demonstration there, and then move on with all but one regiment to Knoxville. I most respectfully suggest that, if not needed here any longer, my regiment may be ordered back to the command of General Bragg, or I may be placed in charge of this post, with some rank and instructions that will enable me to control matters at this point for the interest of the Government. I have the honor to refer to an application I have made to the War Department. I find the citizens here have confidence in my movements, and I also find, with great respect for the present superior officers, that I have been much longer in the service and have been trained in a different school from any of these men. I am now really the commander of these forces, and refer to the recommendation of General Bragg in sending me here, and to what you will hear from him in a few days as to miry qualifications.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

S. A. M. WOOD, Colonel Seventh Regiment, Alabama Volunteers.

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CHATTANOOGA, November 17, 1861.

Major-General BRAGG, Pensacola, Fla.:

DEAR SIR AND GENERAL: I have the honor to report to you for your information the following with regard to the Seventh Regiment:

We arrived at this place on Thursday, at 5 o’clock. I came through and arrived on Thursday morning, but the burning of the bridge forced the regiment around by Cleveland, where I met it at 11 o’clock, and came down with it. At Cleveland I arranged with Col. W. B. Wood by telegraph to make a joint movement on the forces of the insurgents, and ordered him to proceed by way of Cottonport and Decatur to their camp ground on Sale Creek. I also ordered 300 mounted Home Guards, under Colonels Gillespie and Tibbs, accompanied by a lieutenant of my command, to move in two parties across the river, one to cross at daylight Friday morning 8 miles above where my regiment would cross and the other 8 miles below me. Between sundown and 11 o’clock Thursday night the Seventh Regiment prepared rations for three days, and I chartered a steamboat for three days for $100, and put the whole regiment on it. At daylight we landed 27 miles from this place and 9 miles from the camp of the traitors. Column was formed, skirmishers thrown out, and we marched through, detaining men, women, and negroes, as we went on, to prevent any information to the enemy. We arrived at the camp ground (formerly a Cumberland Presbyterian camp-meeting place) at 11 o’clock. A body of 300 mounted Home Guards reached the camp ground from Rhea County five minutes before us, and had advanced 200 yards towards us in a lane. In some houses near there a large number of women, seeing our approach, were screaming, {p.249} and one or two Lincolnites were trying to escape-one on foot we had just captured. Our skirmishers surrounded the house, which increased the noise, and commanded the horsemen, now forming line of battle, to halt, but they turned and fled. Five shots were fired at them, wounding slightly I man in the foot, and 1 of their horses; also wounding a Lincolnite, who was flying about 200 yards beyond them, in the shoulder. The whole squadron was then soon out of sight at a fierce gallop. Their captain caught sight of our banner and returned, and we found them friends. The Lincolnites number 300; had met the night before our arrival, and voted on three propositions:

1st. Should they fight? Ayes 4, noes 296

2d. Should they go to Kentucky? Ayes 65, noes all the others.

3d. Should they disperse? Ayes about 230, noes about 70.

They then all fled the camp, the 4 fighting men going with the colonel, named Clift; the 65 towards Kentucky, with their major, named Sullivan; the others, with the lieutenant-colonel, scattering to their homes and the mountains.

Col. William B. Wood was now within 7 miles of me. My mounted men had not come up. I ordered Colonel Wood back to Knoxville, and I ordered all the mounted men to pursue and capture the 65 going to Kentucky. Staid all night at the camp ground. Many good citizens, who had been robbed of their guns and property, came to see us. The next morning took a different road to return, ordering the steamboat up the river. Arrested about 12 traitors, 5 with guns and knives bound for Sullivan’s camp. They are the most miserable, ignorant, poor, ragged devils I ever saw. I reached the boat at 11 o’clock; came down 16 miles, landed, and sent out two companies under Major Russell (I accompanying them) to visit the house of Colonel Clift. He was not there. His house looks as if it belonged to some crazy man-a large two-story frame building with half the windows out; no furniture, and all in decay. Found a letter from him to Shelton (lieutenant-colonel), dated November 6, giving the place of the rallying. Returned, and reached this place at 9 o’clock at night. This morning I have moved the regiment out to the burned bridges, 15 miles, so as to get out of the way of whisky, and to encamp among the Lincolnites. When I arrived Colonel Leadbetter was not here. A Tennessee regiment without arms was just arriving. All in confusion; a general panic; everybody running up and down, and ad ding to the general alarm. I issued an order taking command; put the town under martial law; shut up the groceries; forbade any exit, by railroad or otherwise, without a permit from provost-marshal; had every avenue guarded; arrested about 12 persons who were talking Lincolnism before I came. Arrested a man myself on the cars as I went to Cleveland, and brought him back. Found him one of Their traveling agents, going off with the news of my arrival. I have relieved all our friends in this country. All were alarmed; all are now resting easy. I have run all the Lincolnites.

Upon may return here I find that Brigadier-General Carroll, of the Provisional Army, formerly postmaster at Memphis, Tenn., is here with two more Tennessee regiments and one company flying artillery. General Carroll has just been appointed. He has been drunk not less than five years. He is stupid, but easily controlled. He knows nothing, and I believe I can do with him pretty much as I please. He is going to send two pieces of artillery and 500 men to march up and down Sequatchie Valley-a useless expenditure of money. The presence of so many troops here is wholly unnecessary. He has, however, only 800 {p.250} stand of arms. What the others will do I do not know. He speaks of going to Knoxville in a few days. General Hardee is now moving to Eastern Kentucky to join Zollicoffer with 13,000 men. Colonel Leadbetter telegraphed me from Bristol to disperse the traitors, station guards at bridges, and move on to Knoxville, but if I station guards my regiment is all gone. I am now dispersing the insurgents, and shall keep at it from this point until I hear from the War Department or you, or again from Colonel Leadbetter. General Carroll will not detain inc. I refer you to a letter inclosed for some of my private views.* I desire, unless I can get some command here, to come back to you. If I cant not order and have the same discipline, then let me conic where I will find it.

I write this that you may know what they have set me to doing. I would have been gratified could you have seen our 9-miles march. I believe you would have been satisfied with the closed ranks, the silence, the activity, and great desire of the men for action.

I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,

S. A. M. WOOD, Colonel, Comdg. Seventh Regiment Alabama Volunteers.

* Not found.

[Indorsement.]

This was probably not intended to be forwarded, but containing much information which may be of interest to the Department, I forward it.

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, November 20, 1861.

SIR: The rebellion in East Tennessee has been put down in some of the counties and will be effectually suppressed in less than two weeks in all the counties. Their camps in Sevier and Hamilton Counties have been broken up, and a large number of them made prisoners. Some are confined in jail at this place and others sent to Nashville.

In a former communication I inquired of the Department what I should do with them. It is a mere farce to arrest them and turn them over to the courts. Instead of having the effect to intimidate it really gives encouragement and emboldens them in their traitorous conduct. We have now in custody some of their leaders-Judge Patterson, the son-in-law of Andrew Johnson; Colonel Pickens, the senator in the legislature from Sevier and other counties, and several members of the legislature, besides others of influence and some distinction in their counties. These men have encouraged this rebellion, but have so managed as not to be found in arms. Nevertheless, all their actions and words have been unfriendly to the Government of the Confederate States. The influence of their wealth, position, and connections has been exerted in favor of the Lincoln Government, and they are the parties most to blame for the troubles in East Tennessee. They really deserve the gallows, and if consistent with the laws ought speedily to receive their deserts; but there is such a gentle spirit of conciliation in the South, and especially here, that I have no idea that one of them {p.251} will receive such a sentence at the hands of any jury impaneled to try them.

I have been here at this station for three months half the time in command of the post, and I have had a good opportunity of learning the feeling pervading this country. It is hostile to the Confederate Government. They will take the oath of allegiance with no intention to observe it. They are the followers and slaves of Johnson and Maynard, and never intend to be otherwise. When arrested they suddenly become very submissive, and declare they are for peace and not supporters of the Lincoln Government, but yet they claim to be Union men. At one time, whilst our forces were at Knoxville, they gave it out that great changes were taking place in East Tennessee, and the people were becoming reconciled and loyal. At the withdrawal of the army from here to the Gap, and the first intimation that the Lincoln army was like to penetrate the State, they were in arms, and scarcely a man, with only a few honorable exceptions, but what was ready to join them and make war upon us.

The prisoners we have tell us that they had every assurance that the army was already in the State, and would join them in a very few days; that the property of Southern men was to be confiscated and divided amongst those who would take up arms for Lincoln.

I have to request, at least, that the prisoners I have taken be held, if not as traitors, as prisoners of war. To release them is ruinous; to convict them before a court at this time next to an impossibility; but if they are kept in prison for six months it will have a good effect. The bridge-burners and spies ought to be tried at once, and I respectfully request that instructions be forwarded at as early a day as practicable, as it needs prompt action to dispose of these cases.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. B. WOOD, Colonel, Commanding Post.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

Library Reference Information

Type of Material: Book (Book, Microform, Electronic, etc.)
Corporate Name: United States. War Dept.
Main Title: The War of the Rebellion:
a compilation of the official records of the
Union and Confederate armies.
Prepared under the direction of the Secretary of War
by Robert N. Scott.
Washington, Govt. Print. Off., 1880-1900.
Published/Created: Washington : Government Pub. Off., 1880-1901 (70 v. in 128).
Description: 70 v. in 128. 24 cm.
Subjects: United States. Army--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Sources.
Confederate States of America. Army--History--Sources.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Regimental histories.
LC Classification: E464 .U6