If something is not done, and that speedily, our people will be cut up and ruined. A column should be ordered to move into Eastern Tennessee, one detailed for that purpose and no other, to go without reference to any other movement, with the specific object of relieving our people, simply on account of their loyalty and as though it were entirely disconnected with any military advantages. I intend to say that our people deserve protection and should have it at once, and independence considerations.
I sent on 21st between 600 and 700 men, under Lieutenant-Colonel Spears to Flat Lick, a point 8 miles below Cumberland Ford, for the purpose of obtaining information of the enemy, and with the hope they would fall in with a portion of them and cut them up. Some of our men went nearly to the Ford. None of the rebels were terre. From best information the force at the Gap was only about 2,000. Zollicoffer, with some 6,000, was at Ross, in Anderson Country.
If we had a battery I believe we could go into Tennessee, and then, if we could carry arms or even powder and lead to furnish to our people, I believe we could stay there.
Will help ever come? I do not mean contingent aid, but special and direct.
We are getting along well. Most of our men have returned who left on night of 13th, and all elated at the orders to remain here. It if be possible, have it so arranged that the Eastern Tennessee shall not again, except in case of urgent and pressing necessary, be ordered back towards Central Kentucky. Many would sooner perish in battle then turn their back towards the Tennessee line again.
Will you please write me if the President has ever acted on the petition which you forwarded from the officers of the two regiments to commission me as brigadier-general, and, if so, the reason for his non-compliance, as well as what you can learn of his intentions in regard to that matter.
With best wishes, I am, your, very truly,
S. P. CARTER.
DECEMBER 3, 18671.
Please read and consider this letter.
HDQRS. EASTERN DIVISION, DEPT. OF THE OHIO.
Lebanon, Ky., December 3, 1861.
Colonel T. E. BRAMLETTE,
Commanding at Columbia, Ky.:
COLONEL: I have just received yours of the 2nd, inclosing Mr. Leverage's statement of the strength of the enemy. I [have] no doubt his information is correct.
It will be a good service to seize the pork at Burkesville if you are sure it is intended for the Confederates.
As soon as General Buell gets the troops organized into brigades I have no doubt one brigade will be posted at Burkesville. In the mean time I wish you to do all in your power to prevent an advance of the enemy via Columbia, as well as the passage of the steamers up the river. Do not run any risk of disaster, and should the enemy attack you at Columbia, h old him in check as long as possible
and send me word immediately. Should he dare come to Columbia, we can easily capture him before he can get back to his lines.