now? At least 1,500 of them are in those hills, willing to advance but for the reasons above given; they refuse to retreat out of the State. Will not our Government at Richmond be as wise as the Government at Washington,and order at once the organization of Eastern Kentucky, by mustering all the recruits who will enlist for special Kentucky service? Many in that country believe the Confederate States will not struggle to hold the State. By the system I propose they will be convinced differently,and why will not the Government permit recruiting for special service in Kentucky? What objection can be urged against it? Is not Kentucky in the hands of our enemies? Do we not expect to need troops in Kentucky as long as the war lasts? If so, I can see no good reason why my views, or some similar policy, should not at once be carried into effect. Time is precious especially in this case, for our enemies are at work. Will you consider these matters and, if they meet your approval, lay them before the Department at Richmond? And as I am the ranking officer in the army from Eastern Kentucky, so far as I know, I should like to have the honor, taking my regiment as a nucleus, of raising a brigade for this special service, which I feel convinced I could do; but if I should fail to raise a brigade, and be driven from the State, I am well satisfied that I would make it cost the enemy five times the number of troops and treasure necessary to confront my present force in any other field of service.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Fifth Kentucky Regiment.
MONTGOMERY, ALA., December 17, 1862.
General BRAGG, Murfreesborough:
General Pemberton reports enemy on railroad to Columbus. Hurry your cavalry operations and hasten the troops this way.
J. E. JOHNSTON.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE.
Murfreesborough, December 17, 1862.
Brigadier-General WHEELER, La Vergne:
GENERAL: In reply to your communication of the 15th instant, the general commanding directs me to say that an infantry brigade has been ordered on the Lebanon pike to cover Baird's Mills. Your suggestion in regard to the re-establishment of General Pegram's line is approved.
I am, general, very truly, yours,
GEORGE WM. BRENT,
HEADQUARTERS WHARTON'S CAVALRY BRIGADE,
Nolensville, December 17, 1862
Lieutenant General LEONIDAS POLK,
Commanding Polk's Corps d' Armee, Army of Tennessee:
GENERAL: Through a dispatch from Colonel Smith, commanding at Franklin, I am informed that a lady just from Nashville reports the enemy as sending some of their heavy guns toward Bowling Green, and other indications that the enemy intend a backward movement. The colonel