have no sympathies with their Union and disloyal acquaintances and relatives and associates. A stern man from one of the cotton States, who has no knowledge of our people and their past political affinities, would be best able to control the conflicting elements out of which our population is constituted. Our mountain defenses have probably deterred the enemy from further invasion upon our northern border. His next effort may probably be directed through Lee, Russell, and Washington Counties, Virginia. At least there will be a feint there, to keep our East Tennessee forces unemployed, and thus prevent re-enforcements being sent from here to aid Zollicoffer or the Lower Cumberland.
I have the honor to be, yours, &c.,
J. G. M. RAMSEY.
CAMP AT CUMBERLAND GAP, November 29, 1861.
Adjutant and Inspector General:
GENERAL: Learning that Piketon had been evacuated by Colonel Wiliams, and that General Floyd had fallen back from Cotton Hill to Raleigh Court-House while I was at Jeffersonville, and that the force of the enemy at Piketon was about 6,000, I deemed it prudent to halt what force I had in hand at a point 18 miles from Jeffersonville, which at once guarded the roads from Sandy River to Jeffersonville and from Sandy to the Salt Works.
IT may be as well to not particularly to you that the position at Claypole's, where Trigg's regiment has been posted, is the strongest strategical position in the whole country to cover the approaches from Sandy River to the interior of Virginia. I have studied the country and understand it. The position can only be turned by a force coming from the Gauley or from Cumberland Gap, and there are good roads for retreat from either. At 5 miles from that camp, directly to its rear, you fall into the main State road from Jeffersonville to Lebanon, and this cross-road is practicable for wagons I know, as I passed one over it myself. This cross-roads is a gorge the whole way, presenting innumerable points for successful defense which might be used to delay an advancing foe. I mention this in case you should be suddenly called to look to this again.
The brigadier-general of the Tazewell militia turned out his brigade to defend that section. I declined to exert any authority over the militia or to call them out anywhere, preferring to submit my request for re-enforcements to you.
Anxious about the condition of things here, I traveled by Lebanon to this place-distant from Trigg's camp to wit: From Trigg's camp to Lebanon road, 5 miles; thence to Lebanon, 22 miles; Lebanon to Castlewood (Clinch River), 20 miles; Castlewood to Gladesville, 23 miles; Gladesville to Pound, 12 miles; Pound to Pound Gap, 5 miles; total, 87 miles-intending to see to the defenses proper for Pound Gap and to ascertain the exact condition of organization in this force.
I found the mounted corps had fallen back to Castlewood, behind Clinch River, to recruit and forage, there being no forage nearer to Pound Gap. The command was under captains, invested temporarily with the powers of lieutenant-colonel and major, by order of Colonel Williams. I determined to give the mounted force the organization of a battalion, and as it met the wishes both of the captains and the men, I requested that they would indicate their own preference as to who