what is said in relation to the enemy's force is true I shall need you by the time you can reach me.
Yours, very truly and respectfully,
J. L. ALCORN,
I have sent courier to Columbus and urged permanent re-enforcements. I have but 1,700 infantry and cavalry combined ready for duty. I should not be left in this exposed condition.
Camp Beauregard, December 31, 1861-10 p.m.
Major GEORGE WILLIAMSON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Columbus, Ky.:
SIR: S. M. Kennedy looks to be, and is said to be, a reliable Southern man; has this moment paid me a most hurried visit, and states, as a fact beyond a question, that the enemy are now south of Mayfield, with 500 cavalry, several pieces of artillery, and a force of infantry, number not known; have made a forced march to-day, and hope to be here by sunrise to-morrow to make an attack upon me. I urge that you shall send to re-enforce me. I think the report cannot be untrue, but it may be exaggerated. I have by my [returns] to-day 1,700 privates, including infantry and cavalry, ready for duty. This force of inexperienced shot-gun militia is not sufficient to hold this place against the number which daily threatens it. The scouting and picket duty is necessarily so heavy, in order to prevent a surprise, that we are kept worn down.
I have sent to Colonel Miller again to-night; hope he will respond. We will seek to discharge our duty, but are in bad plight for a heavy fight. I hope the courier now sent will have a more speedy journey than the one sent a few days since.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. L. ALCORN,
Abstract from return of Western Department, General A. S. Johnston, commanding.
[Date about December 31, 1861.*]
Present for duty.
Troops. Officers. Men.
Polk's command, Columbus, Ky. 1,275 19,717
Central Army of Kentucky, Bowling 1,550 21,110
Floyd's brigade, Bowling Green. - -
Bowen's brigade, Bowling Green. - -
Clark's brigade, Hopkinsville. - -
East Tennessee Army. 298 5,078
Carroll's brigade. - -
Arkansas Army, Fort Smith. 127 4,849
Volunteers in camp in Tennessee. - -
Total. 3,250 50,754
Aggreg Aggreg Remarks.
Troops. presen presen
t t and
Polk's command, Columbus, Ky. 25,709 28,531
Central Army of Kentucky, 30,799 38,943 Major-
Bowling Green. General
Floyd's brigade, Bowling Green. - - No returns.
Bowen's brigade, Bowling Green. - - Do.
Clark's brigade, Hopkinsville. - - Do.
East Tennessee Army. 6,292 7,732 Major-
Carroll's brigade. - 4,015 Aggregate
Arkansas Army, Fort Smith. 5,568 6,767 Major-
Volunteers in camp in Tennessee. - 6,000
Total. 68,368 91,988
*The original return not dated and otherwise imperfect.