tulated with them; insisted that the depot ought not to be burned; informed the party that it was the property of the company, and the goods stored in it the property of citizens, and that the building was not used by the Government. However, just before the party left, the depot was fired by them, and with the property it contained was wholly burned. There were several rebel citizens at the depot when the rebels first came in, but none of them attempted to dissuade the party from the contemplated burning, but by silence consented to the act of their friends, and remained inactive spectators to the burning, after the guerrillas had left. The party left as soon as the building was fired, and before the flames were visible on the outside of the building about 15 citizens had come in and shortly afterward the number was increased to 50, but no one made the slightest effort to save the building or its contents, but stood by and saw the whole completely destroyed.
This, it is thought, if merely passive disloyalty, is rather too passive under the circumstances, and, in fact, amounts to crime, which, if not punished in the ordinary way, should, at all events, be punished to the extent of rebuilding the depot.
The community around Rocky Hill are peculiarly disloyal, and it is a significant fact that the burning of depots on this road (Louisville and Nashville) always occurs at points where the people are intensely rebel. The guerrillas have no fears in such neighborhoods, and the rebel citizen feeling himself [secure] will lend every possible covert aid to these desperadoes. By making the proposed assessment it is thought the citizen will soon learn that he is pecuniarily interested in the protection of the road and property on it, and to that extent made actively loyal.
The rebel sympathizers should be interested in the protection of property their friends seek to destroy, and when the interest certainly attaches the sympathy for the evil-doers in a corresponding ratio will cease.
It is generally believed by what loyal citizens there are about Rocky Hill that some 3 or 4 sympathizers were prominent in getting the depot burned, and that all of them, when opportunity offers, give what aid and comfort they can to guerrillas; but these propositions cannot be proven with legal certainty. There are many who say they will "never give a cent toward rebuilding any depot," &c., and some say it is useless to rebuild at all, since it would be burned again in three days.
These facts stated herein are gathered from citizens living near Rocky Hill, and, in addition to these facts, I hope I will be pardoned for stating, as I have done, some of the reason which have induced Colonel Maxwell to propose the assessment to rebuild the depot-a proposition which meets the approbation of the truly loyal portion of this community.
I am, very respectfully, &c.,
THOS. B. FAIRLEIGH,
Lieutenant Colonel Twenty-sixth Ky. Vol. Infty., Comdg. Post.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,
Cincinnati, September 13, 1863.
Respectfully forwarded to the Adjutant-General of the Army, in compliance with the request of Brigadier-General Boyle.
W. P. ANDERSON.