The foregoing report is as perfect a one as I am able to make with the meager information at present before me. My own command being as yet to a great extent unorganized and stationed in small detachments at so many different points, I have not been able to obtain regular and official reports. But in the main the above statement of its strength, condition, &c., is very nearly accurate in point of numbers, as well as in other particulars.
The other forces to which I have alluded were not under my command, and therefore I had no right to require the official information from them, but have had to rely upon such statements as were reported to me by others.
WM. H. CARROLL,
Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.
[DECEMBER 10, 1861.-By an act of the Provisional Congress, Kentucky admitted as a member of the Confederate States of America.]
HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Bowling Green, Ky., December 10, 1861.
Major General LEONIDAS POLK,
Commanding First Division, Columbus, Ky.:
GENERAL: By direction of the general I give his views of the probable operations of the enemy and suggestions as to the means by which they are to be met and counteracted. He says:
Copies of letters to the Governor of Alabama and to General Weakley have informed you that you may anticipate in important accession to the force at Fort Henry, which I hope, with the force now at Fort Donelson and that under General Clark at Hopkinsville, will make your right secure from the enterprises of the enemy and compel him to divert a large portion of his force. Should he consider it expedient to attempt the reduction of those places or in carrying on operations in your immediate front, enforce un him the necessity of employing a large force in observation to mask or cover his operations against you. I suppose they will adopt on your front, three lines of operations: one from Cape Girardeau or Bird's Point to New Madrid, which may be safely done, as the topography of the country evidently affords a perfect immunity from attack throughout the route. This contingency you are providing against. The force which will probably be sent on the Cape Girardeau route will no doubt be large. Another smaller force, I thin, will descend the west bank of the Mississippi to a point below Columbus, establish batteries to cut off your supplies by the river, and co-operate with the force at Madrid. A third will endeavor to throw itself between Columbus and your re-enforcements and supplies, to effect which it will be necessary for them, if the routes should be as impracticable as they are represented at this season of the year, to use the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers for transportation of subsistence and other supplies, at least as far as the ferry, should they adopt the former route below Fort Henry, and thence by the road to Paris. This movement they would probably cover by a demonstration towards Columbus. Fort Columbus, now being completed, cannot, I think, be taken by assault; and, supplied with provisions and other stores for six months, would probably, if enveloped and thrown upon its own resources, hold out some time.
Now, if this be true, your army outside is left free to maneuver in reference to the movements of the enemy, and ought to be so handled as to prevent, by its successive movements, the introduction of the enemy's force into the country in such manner as to deprive you of support and supplies.
Should they deem it important to reduce the force at Columbus before advancing you would have it in your power to go to its relief. Should they, however, decide to prosecute their march into Tennessee, you will have it in your power, if your force should be adequate, to offer them battle on a field of your own choice or impede and harass them as they advance, and as their force must be reduced to keep up their line of communi-