but should it be sufficient and the court find them guilty, the sentence, whatever it may be, will be promptly executed, unless otherwise directed by you. In addition to those suspected of burning the bridges I have now in confinement about 150 more prisoners, charged with taking up arms, giving aid and assistance to the enemy, inciting rebellion, &c. Those among them who have been proven guilty of the offenses alleged against them I shall send to Tuscaloosa, in accordance with your instructions by letter of November 23. I have already sent there 48, to be held as prisoners of war.
I have been greatly annoyed by the interference of the civil authorities with what I conceive the proper and faithful discharge of the duties incumbent upon me in my capacity of military commander of this portion of East Tennessee. Several attempts have been made to take offenders out of my hands by judicial process to be tried by the civil tribunals, which trials I am satisfied would in many instances have resulted in the release of those who are guilty and should be punished. In order to avoid these embarrassments, I felt myself justified in placing the city under martial law until such time as all the prisoners charged with military offenses now in my custody can be tried by a military tribunal. If after this is done any should remain whose offenses come legitimately under the jurisdiction of the civil courts, I will turn them over to the proper officers to be disposed of in that way. I have only been prompted to venture upon this stringent course by strong conviction that the public good imperatively demanded it.
The traitorous conspiracy recently so extensive and formidable in East Tennessee is, I think, well nigh broken up, as there is at present but little or no indication of another outbreak. I have small detachments of my force out in every direction, suppressing any rebellious spirit that may be manifested and arresting those who are known to have been in arms against the Government. I am daily receiving the most encouraging evidences that the people are beginning to return to a sense of duty and patriotism, as many of those who were heretofore unfriendly towards us are coming forward and giving every assurance of future fealty.
For a detailed account of the operations of my command since taking the field I respectfully invite your attention to my official report, this day forwarded to the Adjutant and Inspector General.
I have the honor to be, yours, respectfully,
WM. H. CARROLL,
HEADQUARTERS RIFLE BRIGADE, Knoxville, Tenn., December 11, 1861.
The exigencies of the time requiring, as is believed, the adoption of the sternest measures of military policy, the commanding general feels called upon to suspend for a time the functions of the civil tribunals:
Now, therefore, be it known that I, William H. Carroll, brigadier-general in the Confederate Army, and commander of the post at Knoxville, do hereby proclaim martial law to exist in the city of Knoxville and the surrounding country to the distance of 1 mile from the corporate limits of said city.
By order of Brigadier General William H. Carroll:
H. C. YOUNG,