by your forces at Hartsville, together with some ladies desirous of going south, that, though the officer carrying the flag had instructed our advance guards, as he passed out, not to fire on any one till his return, some of your people, taking advantage of this, took three of my vedettes prisoners. As I cannot for a moment believe that you will sanction such a gross violation of the courtesy of war and the respect due a flag, I confidently trust that it will only be sufficient for me to bring the facts to your notice to secure the immediate return of the men, their arms and equipments, with a prompt and suitable apology for an act which you must, I am sure, condemn as much as I do.
I have the honor to be, with much respect, your obedient servant,
W. S. ROSECRANS,
HDQRS. THIRD DIVISION, ARMY OF KENTUCKY,
Danville, Ky., December 13, 1862
Lieutenant T. G. BEAHAM,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General Headquarters Army of Kentucky:
LIEUTENANT: You communication inclosing dispatches from Major-General Wright to Major-General Granger has been received at 2.30 a.,m, having been eleven hours coming from Lexington to this place. I reached here yesterday,and am quite ill, threatened with pneumonia,and would like very much if Colonel Coburn could be sent the here to assist me. I have with me the Ninety-second and Ninety-sixth Illinois Volunteers and the Thirty-third and Eighty-fifth Indiana Volunteers. The Nineteenth Michigan and Twenty-second Wisconsin will be here by 10 o'clock this morning. From these, five companies are detached, and some of the regiments are much reduced by sickness, leaving an effective force of about 3,300 men. The Ninth Ohio Battery is here, in good condition. The howitzer battery was not yet equipped when I left it, and is waiting there to be made ready for service before being brought to this place. Unless the officer in charge meets with delays in Lexington, it ought to be here by Sunday evening. The fragment of Munday's cavalry here has only about 50 horses, and that number cannot be relied upon for service; most of the scouting will, therefore, have to be done from Crab Orchard, since I am not permitted to use the cavalry at Nicholasville. I will immediately send out a scouting party from here to Columbus, via Hunstonville, of 15 men,and will send orders to Crab Orchard to have one sent from there to Mill Springs. As to intrenching at this place, I have not yet examined the country thoroughly; but all assure men that there are no natural features to be taken advantage of,and that the work would be one of great magnitude. I have no one to superintend the construction of works, and for a day or two will not be well enough to do much as it myself. The supply of picks, spades, and shovels in the regiments is, furthermore, so small, amounting almost to nothing, that I cannot promise much in this matter. To construct works beyond Dick's River I would have to move there, which would not be in accordance with the instructions that sent me here. I will try to keep a good lookout for the enemy, and if he comes will have to meet him in the open field in order to defend my camp and the supplies here.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,