that the rebel force was much exaggerated, as by their statement no more than one regiment was at Flat Lick, and that return towards the Ford yesterday.
I had made all the preparation in my power to save as many of the public stores as possible, having determined in case of absolute necessity to destroy the rest, and then deal with the rebels as I could.
If the quartermaster can send me more wagons and teams, so as to fill up the number we are entitled to, it will add not only to our convenience, but efficiency, as well as be no small saving to the Government.
recruits are arriving almost every day from East Tennessee. We have no arms to, put into their hands. The Union men coming to us represent the arrival of the Federal forces. They are all ready to join them and do their part towards the deliverance of their native land. Union camps are already forming in some of the counties, and unless help soon reaches them, as they have but little ammunition, they will be scattered or destroyed.
Will you please send me some rifle powder. I am greatly in want of stationery.
With the hope of soon seeing you here, respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. P. CARTER,
Acting Brigadier-General, Commanding.
COLUMBIA, KY., November 20, 1861.
General GEORGE H. THOMAS:
I am here with my regiment safe in camp. The danger at this place is not now threatening. The enemy has again fallen back to Monroe County. Zollicoffer's forces, under General Lee, have been moving across the mountain towards Jamestown, Tenn., or Camp McGinnis. I have not, however, been able to hear anything from them since they passed through Huntesville, in Scott County. We sent some five of Colonel Wolford's men through Clinton to scout, but they have not yet had time to get in.
If you can get all your forces here with General Boyle's and General Ward's, you can make a movement upon Buckner's flank and successfully turn him. I do not doubt tat a forward movement from here would make him retreat from Kentucky precipitately, He is not near so strong as represented. His forces of not exceed 20,000, and a movement upon his flank before he is re-enforced by General Lee would run him from Kentucky. The movements he is making I am persuaded are to cover his weakness and hold in check a forward movement until he can re-enforced. Such I am now convinced is the cause of all these threatening upon Clinton, Wayne, Cumberland, Barren, &c.
It is but the trick of a desperate gamester.
I hope to see you soon at this place, and would not be in the least surprised if your movement in this direction does not cause a hasty retreat from Kentucky anyhow; especially if they take up the idea that it is a flank movement, as Buckner will be apt to do.*
THO. E. BRAMLETTE,
Colonel First Regiment Infantry, Kentucky Volunteers.
* Some matters of detail omitted.