the 8th instant* I conferred with General Lee, whose letter will probably reach you with this, and in it you will find authority from the Governor to call out the militia in your district. For reasons which I need not explain to you it is desirable to limit the application of martial law to cases of absolute necessity. You mention there are five counties within which you desire the suspension of the "writ," but you do not name them. If you find it necessary not only to have power over the people by calling out the militia, but also over the courts by proclamation of martial law, inform me of the exact country over which you wish martial law declared, and I will send you the requisite authority.
General E. K. Smith will probably have in a short time a strong force at Cumberland Gap, and if the enemy should not press him there it may be in his power to co-operate with your in overthrowing the column at Pikeville. I concur freely in your view of the propriety of advancing into Kentucky, and only regret that I cannot at once furnish you with the requisite force for the execution of your design.
I know how fully your heart is in the cause in which we are embarked, and hope the day may not be distant when you will be possessed of the means to carry the State-rights flag over the soil of your birth, and there vindicate the sovereignty of Kentucky. We are sorely pressed just now on every side, but the good and true men who have engaged in the war seem only with redoubled energy to bear up against increasing burden.
What we may bear of sacrifice, how long we may be required to bear it, is problematical; but no one doubts, or seems to doubt, the final success of our holy cause.
With my best wishes and assurances of my readiness to serve you to the full extent of my power, I am, very respectfully, and truly, yours,
RICHMOND, VA., March 13, 1862.
Brigadier General HUMPHREY MARSHALL,
Commanding, &c., Lebanon, Russell County, Va.:
GENERAL: I inclose authority from the Governor of Virginia to call out the militia of the State in the counties in which you are operating. It is the desire of the President that if you find it necessary you will enforce the call, and should the exercise of martial law be necessary for the purpose, that you will report the fact and the counties over which it should, in your opinion, extend. It appears from the records in the Adjutant-General's Department that your force consists of the Twenty-ninth and Fifty-fourth Regiments Virginia Volunteers, one regiment Kentucky Volunteers, and a battery of artillery. Please report your actual force, which I regret to state I see no means at present of increasing, unless troops can be collected in the country in which you are operating.
Your plan of advancing into Kentucky meets with the approbation of the President if you can procure the means of accomplishing it. General Kirby Smith, commanding the forces destined for East Tennessee, may be able to detach to your assistance, and you are desired, while keeping yourself in communication with him and regulating your movements in accordance with any instructions that he may find it