your orders, and left for Tennessee in company with my brother, Rev. W. B. Carter. I fear that he has been captured by the rebels, and if not, that he is so enviroded by them as to leave but little hope of his being able to return to his regiment. His company is of course still without a captain. I wish your advice as to whether it will or will not be advisable, under the circumstances, to have the position filled by a new appointment. I write at the request of the colonel of the Second Regiment.
We are still lying idle, hoping that some move is in progress form Columbia to get in Zollicoffer's rear. The position he holds is said to be a very strong one, and our force in comparison to his is too weak to justify making a diversion so as to attack on both sides the river st same time or to even assault his works on this side. Such, at all events, seems to be the view held by those who ought to have the means of knowing.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. P. CARTER,
Acting Brigadier-General, Commanding Twelfth Brigade.
HDQRS. FIRST Brigadier, FIRST DIV., DEPT. OF THE OHIO,
Somerset, Ky., December 23, 1861.
(Received December 24, 1861.)
Captain GEORGE E. FLYNT,
Assistant Adjutant-General, First Division, Lebanon, Ky.:
CAPTAIN: In reply to your communication of the 22nd instant I would beg leave to state that upon the arrival of Captain Prime, on or about the 2nd December, I proceeded with him to examine the blanks of the Cumberland River, with a view of selecting a location for the closed work ordered in your communication of the 30th November.
After a careful examination of the ground Captain Prime was convinced that the river bank presented no suitable it was location for a work of this nature within the neighborhood where it was desirable to have it.
The ground immediately on the river was too low, and liable to a plunging fire from the enemy's guns on the opposite bluff, while the bluff on this side the river was too elevated to get a sufficient depression of the gun to make it effective on any part of the river, which facts were stated in a communication from Captain Prime to the general commanding the department direct after being submitted to me for perusal.
On the 4th instant Captain Prime, while reconnoitering the enemy's position some 12 miles lower down the river, was (with Major Helveti, First Kentucky Cavalry) captured by the enemy, and the fact reported to the commander of the division in my communication of the 8th instant, this time being allowed to elapse before reporting the case, in the hope that they were only cut off from their party and would make their way back to camp.
The entrenching tools arrived some ten days since.
I await further orders.
Quiet has prevailed around Somerset for the past three days. My scouts extend to the river on the south and to Fishing Creek on the west, sometimes coming in view of the enemy's scouts on the west side of the creek.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding First Kentucky Brigade.