general good which will probably flow from the application of a given force. I am most anxious to redeem Kentucky from the thraldom which now paralyzes her energy and seems to have chilled her courage. I think her own sons should perform the task; bout, as she is now one of the Confederate States, her interests become matters of general concern and her laches must be supplied by vigilance from other quarters.
I desire to be informed of the views of the Government as speedily as possible, for I am in a country where I am compelled to subsist upon means which the people in the neighborhood will certainly require for their own support.
I do not think it sound policy to abandon the State or to beak up this column if you can possibly re-enforce it, but you are aware, as well as I am, that 1,500 men cannot penetrate far before they must be overpowered and compelled to retreat. I cam here to commence with 5,000 men. I have never had 1,800 present and fit for duty. My men are now diseased with measles and mumps, and yet have no hospital accommodations; exposed to snow and wet weather, yet have no overcoats and but few blankets. They do not murmur, but I know they feel the sacrifices they make, and I feel for them.
I hope that at the Department of War, amid engagements that press, my wants will not be forgotten, and that you, general, will have a determination formed at once, which shall result either in giving me an effective force for winter operations, according to the plan submitted by me to President Davis, or that you will settle the minds of my Virginia friends who are with me, by letting them go into winter quarters and giving me Kentuckians in their place, or let them know it cannot be done. Please telegraphed met to Abingdon on receipt of this.