where they are said to have many friends. To-day a messenger from Parrottsville, Cocke County, brings intelligence that insurgents were approaching that village this morning, and the inhabitants were in instant expectation of attack. On every hand we hear of similar movements, accounts often exaggerated, but there is really great commotion and hostility.
I think that we have effected something, have done some good; but whenever a foreign force enters this country, be it soon or late, three-fourth of this people will rise in arms to join them. At present they seem indisposed to fight, and the great difficulty is to reach them. Scattering in the mountain paths, they can scarcely be caught; and as their arms are hidden when not in use, it is almost impossible to disarm them. Cavalry, though a bad force for fighting them in case they would fight, is yet the only force which can reach them. It is adequate, too, to disperse and capture them in their present state of morale. I am confident that a mounted regiment with two very light guns would do more to quiet this tier of counties than five times the number on foot. We could do something by pressing horses, but they are generally needed for the daily wants of the people. In default of regular mounted troops, 500 horses at least must be impressed, and perhaps 1,000. The people of Greenville seem to be peaceful enough.
The bridge over Lick Creek, or rather the trestle work, has been finished for some days; that at the Holston is going on favorably. The company had proposed not to trestle the latter, but to rebuild the bridge-a work of some months. I thought it my duty to insist on the trestle work, which can be done in three weeks, at a cost of $1,500, and which will afford a passage and also be of great service in building the bridge itself. At the Hiawassee trestling is not feasible, owing to the great depth of water, the character of the bottom, and the sudden freshest of the stream. Lieutenant Mason, Virginia Engineers, reports that the work of rebuilding there is going on favorably.
Colonel S. A. M. Wood, of the Seventh Alabama, having disposed a part of his regiment, as directed, for the protection of the bridges between Chattanooga and Knoxville, has his main body near the former place. He appears to have been very zealous and active against the insurgents and has captured some prisoners. He urges the importance of keeping the regiment in that immediate vicinity in order to repress disturbances, which are so prevalent. I understand that troops of Generals Zollicoffer and Carroll are stationed on some parts of the road and are building winter quarters. We are not likely to have too many troops, but I could wish the command to be a unit and not doubtful. I propose to pass over the whole line within a day or two from this date, to learn what dispositions are necessary for the winter. It is presumed that the troops of Generals Zollicoffer and Carroll are intended more especially for operations against the insurgents.
Twenty-two prisoners have been sent to Nashville from Carter County, and we have now in confinement some 5 or 6 known to have been in arms, and who will be sent to Tuscaloosa, under the order of the War Department dated the 25th instant.
Our men are much in want of blankets, the weather varying only from cold and wet to cold and dry. Many cases of pneumonia have already appeared. I am looking anxiously for the North Carolina regiment.
Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
Colonel, P. A. C. S., Commanding.