by a creek near at hand or by the river. The communication from the city of Nashville to each point selected is by a turnpike road. It will be necessary for the Quartermaster's Department to purchase wood for encampments situated so near this city. To place the troops farther from Nashville will put them in advance of a line having limits that the probable available forces can defend.
The Adjutant-General of the State of Tennessee informs me that there is a favorable position in Maury County, directly on the Tennessee and Alabama Railroad, 36 miles from Nashville. An accommodation train passes twice each day-once in the morning and once in the evening; a through train and freight train daily; that there is a telegraph office at the town of Columbia, which is 10 miles by railroad and 6 miles by turnpike from the point; that there is a large open ground for drill; that the country around can furnish a large quantity of commissary supplies and other supplies for the troops that might be placed there; and that there is wood in proximity from which the camps can supply themselves. It is suggested by the Adjutant-General that the troops from the counties of Maury, Hickman, Lewis, Marshall, and Williamson, amounting to about twenty infantry companies and five cavalry companies, might be assembled at the point referred to with great economy to the Government, and still be at once ready for active service at Nashville or other point north of Nashville. The inconvenience and increased expense of assembling and encamping a very large force in the vicinity of this city induces me to suggest the propriety of establishing the camp in Maury County for the organization and instruction of the troops above named. These troops will be more easily controlled than they would be near a city as large as Nashville or even Edgefield.
I am informed by the Adjutant-General of the State that a part of the new troops have been sent already to Camp Trousdale. I have reported to Governor Harris the position of the camps in this vicinity, chosen with reference to the line of defense, which may be occupied in some strength by such force as may be available. For long-continued occupation the grounds within the line thus limited do not furnish suitable large force-say not more than six to eight regiments. For health, comfort, and economy, therefore, it may be desirable to encamp all others at points more distant.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. F. GILMER,
Major, and Chief Engineer Western Department.
HDQRS. FIRST DIV., WEST. DEPARTMENT, No. 21. Columbus, Ky., December 4, 1861.
The undersigned hereby resumes command of the First Division, Western Department.
HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, WESTERN DEPARTMENT,
Columbus, Ky., December 4, 1861.
SIR: In order that the Cumberland Iron Works may complete contracts now on hand with parties working for the Confederate Government