Greene County, Alabama, January 19, 1862.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War:
SIR: Since addressing you a few days ago I have been credibly informed that another company of Union men are secretly organizing, and have elected their officers, in adjoining county to the one where the 300 are encamped I wrote you about, which it is supposed are intended to act in concert with them. They are avowed Union men, and have never declared what their intention were. The superintendent of the military institution at Tuscaloosa is inclined to believe their intention are to secure the prisoner at Tuscaloosa. I have the promise of one field piece and can get another and half the State Cadets, if necessary, to disperse them, if it is your order to do so. I am having their movements closely watched, and will keep you advised of them if you think it necessary. I am satisfied something serious is intended from all I can gather. The Governor does not feel authorized to issue orders to me, as we are intended for the Confederacy, but is willing for half the Cadets to act with me. I would be pleased to have an order to co-operate with any other troops that might be ordered there.
I am having the shot-gun and country rifle altered so as to carry the Minie ball with as much precision and effect as the true Minie rifle and a few will excel it in accuracy and range. I am succeeding very well with my battalion; have good quarters, and getting them pretty well drilled. I am trying to induce them to re-enlist for the war, and think I will succeed after a while. Be glad you would send me authority under your hand to receive them for the war. I am giving all my attention to these matters.
Yours, with great respect,
ROBT. P. BLOUNT,
P. S.-The officers are getting anxious about their commissions. I have accepted and mustered the three companies I sent you according to the law in your circular. The other companies have not the legal number to be mustered yet.
COLUMBUS, KY., [January] 19, 1862-4 p.m.
Your dispatch of 18th, 11 p.m., received. Am informed column [of] 4,000 infantry, 600 cavalry, and two batteries of artillery were moving from Farmington towards Murray. Have sent 1,000 cavalry to attack their column in rear and to harass them; will send also two regiments infantry from the rear [as] soon as they can be put in motion. Keep me advised.
HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT,
Bowling Green, January 20, 1862.
Commanding Central Army of Kentucky:
GENERAL: I am instructed by General Johnston to say you will detach from the corps at this place a body of 8,000 men (due proportions of the three arms), consisting of General Floyd's brigade and so much of Buckner's as will bring the number up to 8,000.