HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, Tenn., December 24, 1861.
To the ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL C. S. A., Richmond, Va.:
SIR: Upon a conference with Colonel Leadbetter I have become satisfied that the unorganized companies serving in East Tennessee form a part of my command. I have therefore deemed it advisable, in anticipation of a replay to the better I wrote to the Department some days since, to order them to rendezvous at Knoxville, Tenn., in order that they may be organized. I believe that under existing circumstances the President appoints the field officers, &c. Colonel Leadbetter and I concur in the opinion that in their present unorganized and to a great extent irresponsible condition they are doing as much harm as good to the service. Therefore their being ordered to rendezvous here will work no injury to the service in any event; that is to say, whether they belong to my command or that of Colonel Leadbetter.
Colonel Powell's regiment marched to-day for Brigadier-General Zollicoffer's headquarters. Brigadier-General Carroll's will march to-morrow and next day. I myself will leave to-morrow.
I have been much embarrassed by the difficulty of procuring serviceable arms and the necessary transportation for General Carroll's brigade.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. B. CRITTENDEN,
KNOXVILLE, TENN., December 24, 1861.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector-General, Richmond:
SIR: I inclose slip from the Knoxville Register of this date, the substance of which has been confirmed to me in conversation by Dr. Abernathy. He states that these emissaries were surprised at night, and their clothes were captured, consisting of the Regular United States uniform. That they are emissaries from Kentucky and the enemy cannot be doubted.
I am now disposing the troops of my command along the railroad throughout, so as to protect the important bridges, and the Department is aware that the number of men is none too great for that especial service. In the northern counties-such as Scott, Morgan, and Campbell-disturbances are frequent, and Southern men are much exposed. Notwithstanding the favorable aspect of things generally in East Tennessee the country is held by a slight tenure, and the approach of an enemy would lead to prompt insurrection of an aggravated character. It should be constantly kept in awe by the presence of a respectable force.
I understand my command to embrace only the railroad line and that portion of the country adjacent from which it is or may be threatened by insurgent bands.
My headquarters are now at Knoxville.
Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,