War of the Rebellion: Serial 023 Page 0873 Chapter XXVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

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KNOXVILLE, TENN., September 25, 1862.

Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War:

From General Stevenson, near Manchester, Ky., September 24, [I learn] the enemy is falling back slowly, but over such a country that he is pretty secure unless he meets resistance in front. I have turned over the command to General Jenkins [Jones]. I shall leave for Kentucky on the 27th. Do you intend to disband troops raised, mustered, armed, and doing duty? General Smith directed me to send Stevenson's command to Kentucky. The critical condition of this section induced me to stop Hiliard's Legion at the Gap. Must it go in?

J. P. McCOWN,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF KENTUCKY,

Lexington, KY., SEPTEMBER 25, [1862.]

General BRAXTON BRAGG:

I have ordered my entire force to Mount Sterling to try to intercept General Morgan. He encamped last night at Proctor, and is probably making for Mount Sterling. He has about 8,000 men and third-six pieces of artillery. General Stevenson marched through Cumberland Gap on the 19th, and is ordered to proceed to Harrodsburg and to report you.

KIRBY SMITH,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF KENTUCKY,

Lexington, Ky., September 25, 1862.

Brigadier General HUMPHREY MARSHALL,

Commanding C. S. Forces, Mount Sterling, Ky.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge ;the receipt of your communication of the 24th instant, giving your force and information of the enemy's movement. You had better send your cavalry well to the front as recommended in my letter of yesterday. The ground over which General Morgan is to advance should be well reconnoitered. Unless he abandons his artillery I think he will be compelled to advance from Proctor upon Mount Sterling. Everything in his front has been burned at Proctor, and his army is in a reduced condition. If we can collect our force soon enough we should make him fight before he can collet supplies.

With regard to what you say, general, about recruiting and wishing to have the companies from your section under your command, I have to reply that I will heartily approve of any arrangement of the Kentucky troops which may be consistent with the public interest. If we can raise an army here it matters but little who has command of it. I have no desire to enlarge my command, and am perfectly wiling for you to have all the troops you can raise or all that may wish to join you.

General Heth's command left Georgetown yesterday evening for Paris.

The whole command, comprising Generals Heth's and Churchill's divisions (four brigades) should arrive at or near Mount Sterling this evening or to-night.

I am, general, your obedient servant,

E. KIRBY SMITH,

Major-General, Commanding.