will be unprepared, if the enemy should pass Fort Donelson and march around it. We hear the enemy are in force 6,000 strong at Murray, about 25 miles north of Paris. We don't know the truth of this report, but the people of Paris are in a great state of excitement about it. They believe the report to be true.
I understand the authorities here have again sent out over the country to collect in the negroes to finish these forts. This will necessarily produce delay, though none could be finished before the negro force can be assembled if the soldiers were detailed for the work. Last night twelve companies arrived here from Nashville, and we have now here two regiments, one under Colonel Quarles, and the other under the command of Colonel Voorhies.
I need not apologize for my urgency, for I cannot and ought not, in the position I occupy, to stand still in such a moment as this.
Ever your friend and obedient servant,
GUS. A. HENRY.
January 25, 1862.
I have just received a telegraphic report from Mr. Edward B. Sayer, assistant engineer at Clarksville, in which he says "work progressing very well now; 200 slaves and 50 soldiers at work; 24-pounders mounted; one 12-pounder also mounted."
I have directed him to mount the 32s in the water battery at mouth of Red River.
[J. F. GILMER,]
Major, and Chief Engineer Western Department.
Knoxville, Tenn., January 21, 1862.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: The troops under my command are now stationed as follows:
Of the Georgia Third Battalion, one company is at Union, where the bridge over the Holston River is being rebuilt; one company guarding the bridge at Carter's Station; one company at Elizabethtwon, the county seat of Carter County; and four companies, much reduced by sickness, are at Greeneville.
The North Carolina Twenty-ninth, Colonel Vance, are distributed thus: One company at Midway; one at Lick Creek Bridge; one at Morristown; one at Strawberry Plains; one at Flat Creek; two at Loudon; one at Charleston, Tenn., and two at Chattanooga.
Outwardly the country remains sufficiently quiet, but it is filled with Union men, who continue to take sedition, and who are evidently waiting only for a safe opportunity to act out their rebellious sentiments. If such men are arrested by the military, the Confederate and State courts take them by writ of habeas corpus, and they are released under bond to keep the peace; all which is satisfactory in a theoretical point of view, but practicably fatal to the influence of military authority and to the peace of the country. It seems not unlikely that every prisoner now in our hands might or will be thus released by the Confederate court, even after being condemned by court-martial to be held as prisoners of war.
It is reported to-day that several fragmentary companies recruiting in different counties ostensibly for the service of the Confederate States have suddenly disappeared; gone to Kentucky.