CATLETTSBURG, KY., October 25, 1862.
GENERAL: The Sandy Valley and the adjacent counties are still overrun with marauding and guerrilla parties of large bands.
Witcher's band is the most formidable of the marauders; his field for operating for thieving is near Grayson Court-House, Ky., with a force near 1,000, mostly mounted; and in addition to these bands Humphrey Marshall is at Salyersville, Mogoffin Country, with a large force, of near 10,000, with a part of that force at Prestonburg, Floyd County, on Sandy River, 75 miles form this place. On the left, to the northeast, at Logan Court-House, Va., John B. Floyd has a small force, 1,500 men.
I learn form deserters and others that it is the object of Marchall to fortify either Prestonburg of Salyersville. Salyersville is 18 miles west of Petersburg, on the road to Mount Sterling. There is a great deal of stock in that section of our State and the crops are fine.
If permitted to remain there long he will devastate all that portion of our State.
I have had a talk with Colonel Cranor, of the Fortieth Ohio, The colonel is very anxious to get after Marshall, and I think he is the man to send up Sandy with a force of four or five regiments. He knows all about the localities and other advantages to be taken in the mountains; for the present at least he ought to be sent with two or three regiments to Louisa, Ky., 25 miles up Sandy. His position would then be central to act for Western Virginia and the Sandy Valley against the marauders so near this place. As I learn form the colonel, Guyandotte is on the out edge for the section he is to protect.
My force is something over 400, and the recruits I have up Sandy are cut off from me. I have 200 reported to me above, and no difficulty in getting all the men I want up Sandy if they were relieved.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN DILS, JR.,
Colonel Thirty-ninth Regiment Kentucky Volunteers.
LOUISVILLE, KY., October 26, 1862.
Major-General WRIGHT, Cincinnati, Ohio:
The rebel army under Bragg has been pressed beyond London and no doubt has fled beyond the mountains into East Tennessee. Kentucky may still, however, be liable to incursions of large bodies of cavalry and even infantry. Columns may attempt to enter through Cumberland Gap. Precautions should be taken against either for the security of the road from Louisville to Nashville, on which the troops in Tennessee are entirely dependent. I have deemed it necessary to post a division at Bowling Green, with detachment (a brigade) at Munfordville and a brigade at Lebanon, with certain bridge guards, well protected by stockades. I am putting a brigade of cavalry at Lebanon and one at Bowling Green. I have assigned General Gilbert to command of the brigades at lebanon and Munfordville and the guards on the roads between those points and Louisville. I would suggest to you to keep a brigade at Frankfort and a division at Lexington. The latter might advantageously be thrown forward to near London as long as the roads will admit of supplying it there. This arrangement will, I think, best give protection to Kentucky and put you in a position to co-operate effectively with the future operations in Tennessee, in regard