my camp, collecting at the same time a drove of about 130 hogs, and making contracts for about 30,000 wight of bacon for my command.
The Union men stampeded in every direction, for it was reported that I had an army purring from the hills and numbering at least 10,000. some of my men were thrown out in advance of West Liberty, and actually went down to Mount Sterling, within 20 miles of Paris. the Union men were absconding even from Mount Sterling. I formed a military plan thereupon, which I should have about 1,500 cavalry to execute, and it is to sweep down on the railroad from Lexington to Cincinnati and destroy it. I could have done it before this time if I had 1,000 cavalry. I can do it before a month passes if I have the number mentioned, and my opinion is that your column would find your adversary in retreated directly or so detaching force to assail me that you could march directly on Louisville. I think I shall be able, as it is, to employ some 6,000 or 8,000 of them, and can occasionally whip them when circumstances favor me.
Very respectfully, &c.,
General A. SIDNEY JOHNSTON.
CAMP THREE MILES FROM PAINTSVILLE, KY.,
December 30, 1861.
GENERAL: I wrote you a few days ago when I supposed I should be engaged with the enemy during the day. Word was sent to my headquarters, just before day on Christmas morning, that the enemy was firing on Colonel Williams' pickets, but this proved a false alarm. I have seen no enemy as yet, though I hear daily reports of the manner in which he is surrounding me. I suppose it is true that there is to be an effort to circumvent and to destroy this column, but I take great pleasure in declaring to you that I am cheered by the hope that it will grow so strong with the people as to foil our enemies. Since my last, Colonel Moore has actually arrived at my camp with a battalion of about 450 men. He passed the courier who conveyed my order of arrest, and as he had come I determined no t to press it upon him; better to made out fair with what I have than to commence with a court-martial.
I take pleasure in informing the Department that the business of recruiting is now going on elegantly. I have received for the last three days new recruits from the interior of Kentucky at the rate of 60 per day, and my information is that a great number will join me. May I beg the Department to send me without delay arms to place in their hands. It is now for the Department to settle the question of raising an army in Kentucky by its answer to this request. I have informed you that the people have been disarmed by the Unionists, and therefore they cannot bring arms out he. I have adopted this plan: I arm about 20 and send in after the recruits, and this armies party gathers the boys and places arms in their hands, and then the whole march to me. None have been attacked as yet. I have placed all who have yet come in Colonel Williams' regiment, so as to fill it. That regiment now has full 1,000 men in the field. I have commenced the formation of the second regiment formed in a short time, and as the mater progresses and the volume increases it will accelerate in movement, unless it shall appear that there are no arms and ammunition to distribute. I am aware