cation, engage them wherever there might be sufficient probability of decisive advantage.
These are suggestions for your consideration, and must be modified as circumstances require.
I am, sir, very respectfully,
W. W. MACKALL,
BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS, Beech Grove, Ky., December 10, 1861.
Lieutenant-Colonel MACKALL, Bowling Green, Ky.:
SIR: Your two dispatches of the 4th reached me late last night. Inclosed I send copy of letter addressed to you yesterday.* I infer from yours that I should not have crossed the river, but it is now too late. My means of recrossing is so limited, I could hardly accomplish it in face of the enemy. There are five infantry regiments, perhaps more, and one cavalry regiment at Somerset, 16 miles distant. Their pickets were yesterday within 9 miles. The precise force at Columbia I cannot ascertain. Our cavalry detachments south of the river, at Rowena, were fired upon from this side yesterday and to-day.
This camp is immediately opposite to Mill Springs, 1 1/4 mile, distant. The river protects out rear and flanks. We have about 1,200 yards fighting front to defend, which we are entrenching as rapidly as our few tools will allow; but a supply ordered by Major V. K. Stevenson, assistant quartermaster-general at Nashville, on the 10th, have not been heard from. Two hundred pack-saddles, ordered at same time, much needed, have not been heard from. I have relied on a reserve of one battalion of the Sixteenth Alabama Regiment, Colonel Powell's regiment, and Captain McClung's battery, left at Knoxville, and ordered forward soon after I started. I have expected them constantly; have been able to get no intelligence until to-day, and now learn (unofficially) that they are not on the way. This may very greatly endanger our position. I will endeavor to prevent the forces at Columbia and Somerset from uniting. The proximity of the terminus of the railroad at Lebanon would seem to give them the means of rapidly re-enforcing in my front.
The position I occupy north of the river is a fine basis for operations in front. It is a much stronger natural position for defense than that on the south bank. I think it should be held at all hazards, but I ought to have a stronger force. Could any feint by possibility be made upon Columbia from the west, it would probably save me from concentration in front until I could be strengthened. We will work day and night on the necessary defenses. Major-General Crittended has assumed command, and is, I think, now at Knoxville.
F. K. ZOLLICOFFER,
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, December 10, 1861.
J. C. RAMSAY, Esq.,
C. S. District Attorney, Knoxville, Tenn.:
SIR: Your letter of 7th instant is received. I thank you for the in-
*See p. 10.
48 R R-VOL VII