I am tempted sometimes to write to President Davis and inform him of what I have seen and heard in the northwest an ask his instructions. Great God! but my blood boils when listening to such statements as I have heard from men and women during my recent expedition. No Oriental despot ever inspired such mortal terror by his iron rule of his subjects as is now felt by three-fourths of the true men and women o the northwest. Grown-up men came to me stealthily though the woods to talk to me in a whisper of their wrongs. They begged me in some instances to take it apparently by force, so that they might not be charged with feeding us voluntarily. Me offered to sell me large lots of cattle secretly or sell me horses secretly, if I would then send armed men to seize and carry of the property. Their pious Union neighbors, they said, would watch and report their every act as soon as my back was turned, and the Yankees would strip them of all they possess. Will any other policy do than to drive them all away?
There is a subject on which I wish to write you, though it has so much the appearance of a mere personal affair that I feel some reluctance in doing so. There is one Dr. John Miller, a Yankee Presbyterian preacher, with whom I shall shortly have a row, i suppose, who is intermeddling in my affairs to an extent that I will not submit to, and yet I am in large part to blame myself for allowing him to get his present position. He was captain of a battery in the mountains last year. On the day before the battle of Port Republic he overtook me on the road and introduced himself. I never had seen him before. After a good deal of circumlocution he finally informed me that he and other gentlemen about Lexington, among whom he named Colonel Gilham and Major Paxton, were desirous of raising a force under the partisan ranger act, but were not willing to go into it unless they could get control of it, making lexington the base of operations. Said he had seen General Jackson, and the general was unwilling to recommend any one to raise such a force unless I would consent to it; that I wa first in the field, an entitled to the command if I wished it, and that, above all, he would not allow conflicting operations to be carried on in the west; that there must be unity in these partisan forces.
The doctor wished to know my views and purposes. I frankly told him I only looked to raising a regiment, and regarded the law as only authorizing regiments and not brigades, and expressed my willingness to relieve General Jackson of any embarrassment he might feel in regard to recommending any one he chose because he might suppose I had previous rights standing in his way. the doctor then requested me to see the general and talk with him. I agreed to do so, but the battle of Port Republic occurring the next day, I had no opportunity of talking with General Jackson. Two days afterward miller was at my house again to renew the subject, and unfortunately I agreed that if the general would recommend it Miller might apply to the Secretary of War for authority to raise a brigade, and when raised my regiment might be attached to it. This paper he was to take to Lexington and show it to Colonel Gilham and others and then return it to me, with the privilege on my part of withdrawing it before it was sent to General Jackson. He did not return it as promised, but sent it to Jackson, together with a letter to the Secretary of War. Jackson indorsed his approval on the papers, and in this form Miller called at my house on his way to Richmond. I then thought I discovered a purpose on his part to use me to raise a command for himself, and told him before he took the papers to Richmond I should add to them that under no circumstances was he