learning that Colonel Russell's command intended to march to this place, feeling quite sure that if the most exaggerated reports were true I could nevertheless hold the place until the re-enforcements would come up. I regret that I am to leave here and regret to go to Union City, and most respectfully beg to have my command disbanded. The troops have but thirty days more to serve, and I do not suppose that there exists a probability of our services being required at Union City within the period of enlistment. If, however, you prefer that I shall remain, I shall yield a prompt obedience; in truth I yield the obedience without further communication, and make a suggestion which would personally oblige me, and I think would not injure the public.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. L. ALCORN.
Fort Donelson, January 2, 1862.
Major GEORGE WILLIAMSON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Columbus:
SIR: In transmitting weekly report (ending 31st) of the troops under my command I am happy to be able to report a favorable progress in all matters connected with the command. The large difference in the weekly report between "Present for duty" and "Total present and absent" will, I hope, be cured in a few days.
The regiments of Colonels Bailey and Stacker have only just organized, and freed now somewhat from feeling themselves bound to court the good-will of their men in order to secure their election, aided by a positive order against granting any furloughs, I hope to be able to restore matters to a more wholesome status.
I have still near 2,000 unarmed men in my command. I have not men enough armed at this post to man one-half the lines within the fortification, much less to effect anything at points which command my whole work. I beg you to call the attention of the general commanding division to this unvarnished state of things.
A most satisfactory progress has been made in the main fortification, an inclosed work. A very few more days will close up the gap and give us a very good work.
The heavy batteries are progressing rapidly and will be very efficient. I shall be ready to place all the guns in position as fast as they arrive. I am straining a point to make the armament sufficient to answer the aim we have in view. I look for some of the heavy guns to-morrow. My entire command is now comfortably housed for the winter. The houses are admirably built, well situated, and present an appearance of real comfort that will compare favorably with any command in the field.
On yesterday I reviewed and inspected the entire command at Fort Henry, and am gratified at being able to report the entire command in a most admirable state of efficiency. Everything will be ready to receive the additional armament now on its way. A heavy rifled gun (82-pounder) arrived at the fort on yesterday and will be in place to-day.
As shown by weekly report, I have had an addition to the force at Fort Henry in the Alabama troops; seven companies are now on the ground; the remaining three will be in place on Saturday. The companies are tolerably armed. Five of them only were inspected, the others arriving this morning. These troops are, as I understand it, for the work south of the Tennessee River.
52 R R-VOL VII