CHATTANOOGA, TENN., December 16, 1862.
Honorable SECRETARY OF WAR, C. S. A.:
SIR: I take the liberty of inclosing the within letter of Colonel H. Hawkins, who is a most intelligent and skillful officer, and of recommending to your most favorable consideration and speedy attention the suggestions therein contained. I have had an opportunity of knowing the people and the troops to which Colonel Hawkins refers, and united my testimony to his.
Provisional Governor of Kentucky.
ABINGDON, VA., November 23, 1862.
DEAR SIR: I regard you as the rightful Governor of my State, and think it not only a privilege, but a duty, to submit to you my views in reference to the condition of affairs in Eastern Kentucky, and the best method, in my opinion, to remedy the evils and promote the cause of the South in that section of our State. If you concur with me, I shall hope to have your aid and influence with the Government at Richmond to have those views carried into effect.
Eastern Kentucky is now in the hands of the enemy except on the Kentucky River Colonel Caudill has a small force. John Dils, jr., the leader against us in that country, has from 400 to 600 troops and Home Guards on the Sandy. If to this number the Home Guards of Pike, Floyd, Johnson, Lawrence, Carter, Rowan, Morgan, Wolf, Magoffin, Perry, Breathitt, and Letcher Counties be added, it will swell the number to more than a full regiment, armed and equipped. Their policy is to organize these mountain counties as speedily as possible against us. Taking advantage of our retreat from the State, they are trying to convince the people that we have given the State up. In this way they seduce many into their Home Guard organizations. They threaten others that they shall abandon the State unless they join them and take up arms against the South. In this way they are fast subjugating the people, and, if permitted to pursue their policy undisturbed until spring,that whole country will be organized against us. They have adopted the wise policy of being up our country, by playing, feeding, and clothing these soldiers and letting them remain in their native hills to hold them against us, and will succeed unless we checkmate them by a similar policy. They cannot enlist them and carry them from their country, and neither can we, and leave the enemy in possession of it. We have both tried this and failed. I am, perhaps, as well acquainted with these people as, and know their wants and what can be done with them better than, any officer in the army, I have been with them more, in contact with them oftener, and in command among them longer than any officer in the service, and I am convinced that they prefer to be with us, and fight for us; but they cannot quit their country and leave it in the hands of the enemy without their families suffering, many of them turned out of doors, others in penury and want, and surrounded by an insulting and barbarous foe-the Home Guards. As a proof that they prefer to be with us and fight for us, I need but state the fact that, although the enemy has had his army in that country much longer than we, he has failed to enlist as many by half as we have. We have enlisted men enough from that region to form a good brigade; but where are they