CORINTH, April 29, 1862.
GENERAL: I have made diligent inquiries relative to the paper you handed me yesterday. I return it, and inclose therewith the statement of Lieutenant Webb, a Government telegraph operator, who was there at the time.
The regular operator, Martin Pride, had received permission some time before to go to Fayetteville on personal affairs, but by Mr. Hopper's order he left Huntsville about Wednesday noon, the 9th of April, together with J. G. Heap, a tinner by trade, who was employed as a spy or scout to get information of the enemy's movements.
The two were taken into Fayetteville by the Federal pickets and detained some four or five hours. After being released, to avoid detention, they went northeast about 3 miles and turned back, reaching Brownsborough, some 10 miles east of Hunstville. Pride took passage on a gravel train and proceeded to Stevenson. From there he came to Corinth, to report himself to Mr. Ross, superintendent of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. Notwithstanding he warned the engine-driver, he believes the train returned back to Hunstville, taking Mr. Heap along. Pride does appear to be suspicious of these preliminary movements, but he now sees the apparent rascality at Huntsville.
The Federals were at Shelbyville on the 8th; they reached Fayetteville on the 10th, and marched into Huntsville on the 11th instant.
Mr. A. J. Hopper is assistant superintendent of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. The person who took Pride's place at the depot station is Charles E. [J. Howard] Larcombe. He was employed as clerk in the machine-shop, and is represented to be an excellent operator. There is an office uptown connecting with the through circuit. The operator is Mrs. Larcombe. Unless her office is cut off the depot she can read any dispatches passing east. Indeed, intelligence was known by the citizens in town of the fight at Shiloh before Mr. Pride thought of mentioning it.
Mr. Webb made inquiries in Huntsville regarding L. and wife, and he believes they are both Lincolnites and Yankees, as well as many other parasites there. He believes, from the fact of Hopper ordering him away and the latter failing to obey Ross' order, that H. is not sound.
I heard last night of persons lately from Huntsville that Larcombe had been appointed railroad superintendent by General Mitchel.
Very respectfully and truly,
L. F. ZANTZINGER.
CORINTH, April 28, 1862.
I was sent to Huntsville, Ala., by Mr. M. J. Waldron about the 31st March or 1st April, and ordered to report to Mr. A. J. Hopper, superintendent of Eastern Division of Memphis and Charleston Railroad, which I did. I remained in the office as assistant telegraph operator for purpose of attending to running of trains for the Government, remaining there until the 11th or 12th April.
Mr. Pride, the regular operator, was sent by Mr. Hopper, so I was informed by Pride, to Shellbyville, partly to see his parents and partly to find out the position of the Federals. The day after Pride left Mr. Hopper informed me he thought I had better go to Corinth, as I could