diately set about making the necessary arrangements to carry the same into effect, as indeed I had been doing for some days previous, under instructions from General Zollicoffer himself. A portion if not all of my command would now have been on the march for General Zollicoffer's present position but for the unsettled condition of affairs in East Tennessee, together with other obstacles that I have been utterly unable to overcome, thought I have made every possible exertion to that effect, but as yet without success.
In justice to myself I feel that I may very properly lay before you the nature and extent of the embarrassments under which I have labored revere since I assumed my present command. When the President did me the honor to appoint me a brigadier-general in the Provisional Army I confidently expected to have had my entire brigade thoroughly armed within twenty days at furthest from that time, as I have taken every precaution to secure sufficient arms for that purpose while raising and organizing the regiments which I now have the honor to command. Early in the mouth of September I procured about 2,000 ordinary country rifles, and placed them in the Government armories at Memphis, Nashville, and Murfreesborough, in order to have them altered-made of uniform length and caliber, and fitted with a sword-bayonet. At that time I was assured by the armory officers at those place that these guns would be repaired and ready for use by the middle of October. On the 26th of that month you telegraphed to them to lay aside all other guns and put their whole force at work upon mine. This they informed me they did; but when I received your orders of the 3rd of November to advance to this place and report to General Zollicoffer not a single gun had been completed.
The indications of an extensive outbreak in East Tennessee at that time were so alarming, that I deemed it unsafe to move my command through that country wholly unarmed. I therefore made application in every direction for guns of any description, to seven me until my own should be ready for use. I finally, after much annoyance, succeeded in getting from the arsenal at Memphis about 400 flint-lock muskets, rifles, and double-barreled shot-guns. With these, imperfect and almost worthless as they were, I advanced to Chattanooga, and halted my forces for a few days, for the purpose of dispersing the different bands of traitors who were gathering in that vicinity. This object being accomplished, I moved on to this point. When I reached here I found a general feeling of alarm and uneasiness prevailing throughout the surrounding country. Information every day reached me from all pints that recreant Tennesseeans, with a few miscreants from other States, were organizing themselves into predatory bands in the counties of Blount, Sevier, Cocke, Hancock, Scott, Campbell, and other counties bordering on the North Carolina and Kentucky line. I immediately sent out scouting parties of cavalry, together with such small detachments of infantry as I could arm, to protect and assist the loyal citizens of these counties in driving these base ingrates from their midst. These various parties have succeeded in arresting many of the rebellious and disaffected, and bringing them to this place for trial. Out of the number thus arrested I have sent and will send about 100, as prisoners of war, to Tuscaloosa. I have for some days past been receiving information, from sources entitled to much credit, that a considerable force of the enemy were threatening a descent from the Kentucky border upon the counties of Campbell and Scott, by way of a small pass in the mountains above Cumberland Gap.