War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0032 OPERATIONS IN KY.,TENN.,N. ALA.,AND S. W. VA. Chapter XVII.

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of our stores with an energy and determination which have enable him to overcome very many and great obstacles, and his efforts have contributed greatly to the success of the expedition and the health and comfort of my command.

In a subsequent report I will communicate some facts relative to my command and also in regard to the situation of the country through which the enemy had been operating.

Very truly, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

Captain J. B. FRY,

Assistant Adjutant-General.


Camp Buell, Paintsville, Ky., January 17, 1862.

DEAR SIR: In my last report to you reasons were given why I did not move forward to Prestonburg with my whole force.

In this I desire to submit some further facts relative to the condition of my command and the situation of the country in which the hard service they have rendered. The Fourteenth Kentucky is composed of excellent material, but is in a wretched state of discipline. Very few of its members have been drilled int he school of the soldier, much less that of the company and battalion. It can be considered but little better than a well-disposed, Union-loving mob, which, if its scattered fragments can be gathered up, may be converted into a very serviceable regiment.

The Twenty-second Kentucky I have not yet had the pleasure of seeing together. Three companies (200 men) joined me just in time to aid in the fight at Middle Creek. The remnant, about the same number, I have left at Lousia to guard our stores. I shall hope to get them here soon. From what I have seen I an encouraged to hope they are in a tolerably good state of discipline.

The six companies (300) of the First Kentucky Cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Letcher, have been very hard-worked, and have a sick list of 207 men, as reported to me by their surgeon. A large number referred to refused to come into the mountains, and many that started deserted by the road.

Colonel Letcher is an admirable gentleman, but a more demoralized, discouraged body of men I have never seen. Major McLaughlin's squadron of cavalry are in a better state of discipline, and a few weeks of drill will make them quite serviceable. I shall do what I can to better the condition of the brigade ad opportunity offers. I venture to suggest that the removal of Colonel Letcher's detachment of cavalry and the supplying of its place by another in better condition would be very serviceable both to Colonel Wolford's command and to this brigade.

From the best information I can obtain the upper part of the Sandy Valley is almost deserted. The expedition of General Nelson, followed by Marshall's, has swept away almost everything on which an army could subsist. Indeed, the late re-enforcements which joined Marshall's army came from the Gap by way of the Kentucky River, because they could find neither food nor forage between Piketon and Prestonburg. On the day following the fight I sent my cavalry back to this place, because I could not find forage for even a single day.