WASHINGTON, D. C., December 20, 1861.
Brigadier General D. C. BUELL, Louisville, Ky.:
Do you need more regiments that are now under your orders; if so, how many?
LOUISVILLE, KY., December 21.
L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General:
I am not willing to say that I need more regiments. I can use more with decided advantage if they can be sent. There are extravagant rumors and great alarm in regard to an invasion of Eastern Kentucky.
I regard the rumors as greatly exaggerated. I have no faith in the reports of very heavy columns, but I have no doubt of demonstrations in that direction, and would like to be able to remove even the apprehension of danger.
My inquiry of the Governor of Ohio in regard to his available regiments, if your dispatch alludes to that, was only precautionary, looking beyond the Cumberland, and regarding the campaign up to it as probably brief. The force to operate in that direction should at least not be reduced by detachments. It ought rather to be increased. I will write by mail.
D. C. BUELL,
LEBANON, KY.. December 20, 1861.
Brigadier-General BUELL, Louisville, Ky.:
Nothing additional from Somerset up to 17th instant. General Boyle reports all quiet near Columbia. Citizens near Edmonton report constant depredations by the rebels.
GEO. H. THOMAS.
Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers.
HEADQUARTERS, Lebanon, Ky., December 21, 1861.
Brigadier General ALBIN SCHOEPF,
Commanding at Somerset, Ky.:
GENERAL: Yours of the 18th was received yesterday. When you reported to me some days since the position of Zollicoffer I immediately telegraphed to General Buell, and suggested making a move on the enemy in front whiles you crossed the river and attacked him in the rear, but have received no answer from him.
Under the circumstances I think it will be best to keep a close watch on him, and if you can draw him out or catch him off his guard attack him.
It may be that General Buell wishes him to be detained on the Cumberland until the troops on the line to Nashville are ready to move. He has not communicated any of his plans to me, but requires that I shall keep my troops together and be prepared to move promptly in any direction. I will try to send you two of Colonel Wolford's companies from his camp, but you will find them but little better than those you have.