Abstract from weekly report, January 25, 1862, of troops at Columbus, Ky., Major-General Polk, commanding.
Present for duty.
Officer Men. Aggrega Aggrega
s. te te
Troops. present present
1st Division 269 4,034 4,303 5,675
2nd Division 283 4,456 4,739 6,002
3rd Division 209 3,241 3,450 4,718
General Stewart's command 136 1,446 1,582 2,448
Captain Wood's company 4 54 58 76
Total 901 13,231 14,132 18,919
Knoxville, January 26, 1862.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector-General, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: It is thought here that the fugitives from General Crittenden's army may not exceed a thousand total. The general is understood to have fallen back on Livingston, and thence to be in communication with Nashville, through Gainesborough and the river. In this case we can readily restore to him, via Nashville, some 200 fugitives already arrived at this place. If re-enforced there by General Floyd, as rumored, he will effectually threaten the enemy's flank, and if in sufficient force, will doubtless prevent an advance on Knoxville; but the people here are anxious lest the two regiments of East Tennessee known to be with the enemy should enter the northern counties of Scott, Campbell, &c., all disloyal, raise those counties in more open rebellion, destroy the bridges, and inaugurate a civil war. Those regiments, broken up into companies, might move from Somerset without commissariat, and through the mountain paths, as they always have done in the opposite direction. The moment they get into the State they are surrounded by friends, and the railroad line and the Government packing establishments are endangered.
We have on the line of the road a regiment and a battalion, four or five companies of which might possibly be spared for field service. At Knoxville is Gillespie's regiment, not well armed, and scarcely more than sufficient to guard the Government establishments. Two battalions are also here unarmed, unorganized, and not fusible into a regiment.
Just before the defeat of General Crittenden's army I had dispatched all the cavalry available, some 400, to Scott County, under orders to destroy the rebels in arms there, and they had only reached Montgomery when the fugitives of the army were met. I have directed them to report for orders to General Crittenden, and, if not needed by him, to carry out their original instructions.
The Department is well aware of my opinion as to the political condition of East Tennessee. Only a little aid and comfort are needed to place it in open hostility to the Government.
If troops can by possibility be spared, two or three additional regiments should be held disposable here, or be so placed as to hold the northern counties in check.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,