Thus you see the force I command, which I supposed when I came here would be 5,000 to commence on. This return is accurate as exhibiting the actual strength, but many of Colonel Williams' men are undrilled; some of the companies have not been in camp more than a week. I flatter myself the enemy is an green as my force. they have blocked up the roads and stopped my chance of recruits again. If I can I will open them, and if I retreat I shall retreat upon Paris and rouse the country as I go or fall in the effort, for I know that if I am driven over the mountains against our cause in Kentucky is lost.
Since my last, our pickets and those of the enemy have come into contact. We took 5 horses and a sergeant and 3 men; they belong to McLaughlin's squadron. They were well mounted and finely armed - sabers and navy revolvers in sword belt, and Sharp's breech-loading carbine, rifled. I put the arms and horses in my mounted battalion, as some of the men were dismounted, and I wished to stimulate them to catch more of the adverse party. They caught the horse of the guide, but not the guide. The picket consisted of about 30, and my party was about 25, under Captain Thomas. He cut off the vedettes of the picket and returned to camp for force to take the whole party, but when he returned they had gone, leaving one or two dragoon hats behind and the horse of their guide, indicating on their part a speedy movement. I have the prisoners, and will send them on to Pound Gap by the first opportunity.
The people hereabouts are perfectly terrified or apparently apathetic. I imagine most of them are Unionist, but so ignorant they do not understand the question at issue. I suggest through you to Governor Johnson to send me blank commissions for magistrates, sheriffs, and constables, clerks, and county judges, so that civic order may be reinstituted; also to send a commission of circuit judge to Harvey Burns, that courts may be holden at proper times. The people should learn that they belong to the Southern Confederacy, and the State provisional government by its operations should be seen and not merely heard of.
I am, truly, &c.,
Brigadier-General, C. S. Army,
General A. SIDNEY JOHNSTON, C. S. A.
CAMP AT MARTIN'S MILL, ON BEAVER CREEK,
Floyd County, Kentucky, January 14, 1862.
GENERAL: When I reported last the enemy was gathering in considerable force to my front and upon my left flank, near Paintsville, in Johnson County. The force in my front advanced to the mouth of Sycamore Creek, 5 miles from my position at Paintsville, and remained in camp there several days. This force was about 4,000 strong. It was stated in the Cincinnati Enquirer of December 28 to consist of five full regiments of infantry, 200 cavalry, and two batteries of field artillery, the whole under Colonel Garfield, of Ohio, acting as chief of brigade.
It was my purpose to wait the attack of this force at Hagar's farm, near Paintsville, but I intercept[ted a letter from Colonel Garfield, addressed to Colonel Cranor, commanding the Fortieth Ohio Volunteers, by which I learn that the latter, with a cavalry force of 400 to 500, was advancing from West Liberty upon Prestonburg. My scouts having reported their count of this force at 1,300 at Salyersville, 16 miles upon