General D. C. BUELL:
I have seen no enemy in Northern Alabama, excepting cavalry. I hear the most deplorable accounts of the condition of our cavalry throughout my entire command. The company of scouts ordered to report to me is now at Pulaski, in bad condition for service. A portion of the First Kentucky Cavalry, without proper arms, 350 in number, is at Shelbyville with but 65 fit for duty; men and horses are absolutely worn-out, and the Fourth Ohio and their horses nearly all unfit for service.
I make these statements as a matter of duty, and beg for cavalry re-enforcements, if possible. With one full regiment, well mounted and fully armed, added to what I have, I think I could drive the enemy completely out of this region.
Your telegraphic order, placing the troops under my command, speaks of conditions of which I am yet ignorant. Am I authorized to direct the commanders to report to me directly? If not inconsistent, it would gratify me greatly to receive telegraphic news from you.
O. M. MITCHEL,
CAMP TAYLOR, May 24, 1862.
Am I responsible for the defense of Louisville and Middle Tennessee as well as of Northern Alabama? If so, am I at liberty to take such steps in the posting of the troops placed under my command as I may deem necessary? Colonel Lytle is returning from Winchester, whence he has driven the enemy's cavalry in confusion to the mountains.
I am satisfied an organized effort is being made by the enemy to attack the posts upon which the defense of Nashville depends.
The inhabitants on the line of Chattanooga and Nashville Railroad are extremely hostile.
O. M. MITCHEL,
HEADQUARTERS, Huntsville, May 24, 1862.
General GEORGE S. HUNTER and others, Committee, Athens:
GENTLEMEN: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your report, dated Athens, May 3, 1862, presenting the affidavits of 45 individuals, who claim to have suffered by the depredations committed by the officers and men of the Eighth Brigade, now under the command of Col. J. B. Turchin.
You report the aggregate losses of these 45 individuals to amount to the very large sum of $54,689.80.
I greatly fear, gentlemen, you are laboring under a very serious misapprehension. I sincerely hope that no remarks of mine could have led you to imagine that the Government of the United States would pay individuals for robberies suffered at the hands of individuals, acting not only without orders, but contrary to the most positive and repeated orders. Whenever provisions or forage have been taken, and the accounts, properly made out, are certified by the proper officer, these accounts will be paid promptly by the quartermaster. All other articles