everything." Soldiers said, "Forage in Western Virginia nearly all consumed, and what to do on returning they did not see." Soldiers further said the roads in Western Virginia were horrible; the men were mostly farmers and looked hearty; horses nearly worn-out.
Morning of 17th January operative left Abingdon, Va., en route for Nashville; reached Knoxville same evening; laid over during night, as trains do not run nights for fear of Union men throwing off trains, &c.; on the way-at Uniontown-bridge across the river at that place entirely destroyed some weeks before, when "bridge-burning" was general. Passengers at Union Station have to leave cars and walk around about 1 1\2 miles, over wagon-road bridge, which latter was sought to be destroyed, but not accomplished.
At Union Station was one company of infantry, stationed to guard materials, on which 30 men were employed building the bridge anew. At Jonesborough, Tenn., was stationed a company of infantry, to guard railroad and check uprising of Union men; at Greenville, two companies of infantry and two pieces of light artillery, for the same purpose; at Russellville, Tenn., one company of infantry, same purpose; another at Mossy Creek, at all railroad bridges, large and small, guards stationed.
At Knoxville, stationed one regiment of infantry and four pieces of artillery. A lieutenant at Knoxville stated that they were not half armed, but well dressed; stated further that if the soldiers were removed the Union men would be as bad as ever in twenty-four hours, and that he did not believe there were ten good Southern men in Knoxville, and he thought best to hang them all, as it cost more to keep them down than all East Tennessee was worth; had he his was he would "hang old Brownlow that night." Brownlow had been in prison, but was allowed home on account of his being very sick, and was then expected to die every day. Provisions at Knoxville plenty; business nothing, except tanneries.
Left Knoxville, Tenn., 12th January; 150 soldiers left on train for Bowling Green, composed of infantry, not of those stationed at Knoxville; at Loudon, Tenn., stationed one company of infantry to guard railroad; at Mouse Creek another, same purpose; at Cleveland, Tenn., another, same purpose.
Arrived at Chattanooga the 12th, at night, going immediately on toward Nashville, reaching that place the next morning.
January 13th, the cars run at night west of Chattanooga; all bridges between Chattanooga and Knoxville guarded the same as east of Knoxville, the small as well as the large ones.
At Nashville are two regiments of infantry; one stationed on Fair Grounds, about 1 mile southeast of Nashville, at a short distance from the river; all comfortably but coarsely dressed; all armed with percussion muskets.
About 1 mile below Nashville, on Cumberland River, as told by the landlord of the City Hotel, the rebels were building two fortifications, earthworks, one on each side of the river, to keep any boats from coming up; the work was performed entirely by slaves.
Railroad bridge at Nashville, over the Cumberland, as well as a suspension bridge, guarded by soldiers.
Near the Bowling Green and Nashville Railroad depot are three very large buildings, now used as hospitals and full of sick; seemed well cared for, so crowded that the stench coming from the outside doors was almost unbearable.