HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,
Lebanon, December 29, 1861.
Commanding First Brigade, Somerset, Ky.:
GENERAL: The commanding general of the division directs me to say that he will leave this place on Tuesday for Columbia, and will, if possible, intercept Zollicoffer, who is reported to be marching in that direction. He desires you to keep a go lookout for him, and, if marching as reported, to push him with your troops in the direction of Columbia.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. E. FLYNT,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CAIRO,
Cairo, December 29, 1861.
Captain J. C. KELTON, Saint Louis, Mo.:
On Thursday night I left here to visit Shawneetown and all other points occupied by troops within this military district on the Ohio River. At Shawneetown I found a regiment of cavalry with but few arms, and fiver companies of the regiment that have not yet been mustered into the service of the United States; also a regiment of infantry, claiming to number over 800 men, still in the State service, with about 400 muskets, that I had previously sent there from arms that had been turned in by troops here to receive better arms. These troops have a large steamer at their service, for which they seem to have no other use than to send up the river after hay for the cavalry horses. The steamer appears to have been chartered by State authority. As a claim will likely come against the Government for all money paid in this way, I would recommend that the Governor of the State be requested to send a mustering officer to muster these troops into the service of the United States, and I can then supply their wants without keeping a large steamer expressly for that purpose.
At Cave in Rock there are many refugees, who have been driven from their homes in Kentucky, and are now living in the cave in very destitute circumstances. The country on the Kentucky side has been nearly stripped of all supplies, the secessionists receiving hay and the Union its driven from their homes. This portion of Kentucky is within the Department of the Ohio, but is remote form any of the troops of that department. The citizens are very clamorous for Federal protection. There is an encampment of rebels at Hopkinsville, said to number about 3,000 men, poorly armed and equipped, who, if driven out, would save this portion of the State much annoyance. Camp Beauregard (Feliciana) has been entirely evacuated, the troops going to Bowling Green. This gives re-enforcements to that of about 7,000 men.
Finding cavalry much needed both at Paducah and Smithland, I have ordered up five companies from here; also ordered two companies to Cape Girardeau, to replace those ordered to Carondelet.
Their is evidently great dissatisfaction among the troops of General Jeff. Thompson. There have been recently between 300 and 4000 of his men come into Gape Girardeau and voluntarily applied to take the oath of allegiance to the Government. They express themselves anxious to retire to their home and live in quiet.
I have had a man in Columbus last week who succeeded in completing