They commenced returning up the river to-day. We have information that General Price is advancing on Saint Louis. This explains the counter-movement, and I think it will prevent the threatened movement on this place until the winter will close in. We have about completed our defenses, making this place impregnable when sustained with gunboat fleet and with forces near Union City. You may now the time to organize your forces, gather your arms, and largely increase the volunteer forces, holding over the country the call for the militia. Many men will volunteer to avoid the odium of being forced into the service. I deem this important information for you to possess, that you may shape your course accordingly.
GID. J. PILLOW,
Brigadier-General, C. S. Army, Commanding.
Knoxville, November 26, 1861.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have the honor to report that I arrived here on Saturday last, by order of General Zollicoffer, and assumed command of this post on Sunday. I found stationed here Colonel Wood's battalion and several companies of infantry and cavalry. There seemed to be much uneasiness and apprehension felt in reference to the disaffected portion of the population. I have put the city under military rule and have restored peace and security.
I have detailed and sent to the various districts where I had information there were any gatherings of disaffected citizens and had them dispersed, and din many instances the leaders arrested. As soon as possible, I dispatched companies of mounted men to scour the country, with instructions to arrest and send here all persons who were inciting rebellion or were found with arms, resisting the authorities. In all instances where there was no proof of disloyalty I have discharged the prisoners upon their taking the oath of allegiance.
There are now in custody here about 70 persons, many of whom, it is believed, were either directly or indirectly connected with the burning of the railroad bridges. Colonel Wood, who was in command here before my arrival, had in contemplation a court-martial for the trial of those upon whom proof of guilt seemed to be strong. I concurred with him, and ordered the meeting on the 28th. The board will be composed of some of the most intelligent officers within this post, and I have no doubt their action will be prudent and discreet.
It is important that steam-power should be secured for the purpose of driving the machinery necessary in the alteration of arms. I therefore took possession of the printing establishment of Brownlow. The steam-engine and building are suitable for our purposes, and it was the only one that could be procured here. Brownlow has left, and no certain information of his whereabouts can be obtained; it is, however, certain that he is aiding and abetting our enemies. I have assured his sons, who profess to have sold the establishment to a Mr. Baxter, that full indemnity for the use of the establishment would be paid by the Government. I have every assurance that the sale to Baxter was a false one, and fell that Baxter is not reliable in his loyalty to our Government.
In obedience to your instructions, November 22, I have given orders