War of the Rebellion: Serial 053 Page 0364 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA.

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[CHAP. XLII.

COLUMBIA, TENN.

October 14, 1863.

Major General W. S. ROSECRANS:

DEAR SIR: You perhaps remember me when I last saw you in Cincinnati. I reside 14 miles from the city. Since I saw you last I have been traveling in rebeldom some, and have made some discoveries worth your notice.

I crossed the Tennessee River at Clifton, Wayne County, Tenn., and went from thence to Waynesborough, and from there to Lawrenceburg. In passing between those places until I got to within 8 miles of the latter place I found two-thirds of the people for the Union and no mistake and willing to take up arms for the old flag, and many of them have already done so. When I got within 8 miles of Lawrenceburg, and all the way and in the place, I found all rebels. I staid with one Union man near there, who I found a good and true Union man, who gave me the following: That there was five cotton concealed about, and that some of these factory owners had taken an oath to the U. S. Government last year, and ever since that time nearly have furnished G. W. Jones, rebel quartermaster at Huntsville, Ala., with thousand upon thousands of yards of cloth and hanks of thread to sew with, and received in payment therefor captured cotton from the U. S. Government, which was left at the tunnel between Pulaski and Huntsville on the railroad, and besides a large amount of the cotton was loaned by the rebel States to Jeff. Davis' rebel Government,and the bats of cotton was branded, so abundant proof can be obtained to prove this by persons about the tunnel and negroes that wagoned the cotton to Lawrenceburg, and the mark on the bags of cotton, and there is some men at Huntsville that would substantiate all this, and all along the road from the tunnel to this place enough testimony can be obtained to confiscate those factories and cotton, that would be enough to pay, 50,000 soldiers for six months' service.

I found no Union sentiment, hardly, at Lawrenceburg; it was nearly deserted, and in a dilapidated condition. The most of the houses, the man told me, belonged to one L. M. Bently, who was a good and true Union man; was in the Nashville Union convention in 1862, in June. Bently was opposed to secession, but a while after the war broke out voted with the secesh; but the man told me he heard Bently say that he had rather lose all he had than the Union should be dissolved, but that he was afraid to say it publicly. I understand that Bently had to go inside your lines for protection. There is a lawyer, C. B. Davis, there; was a secessionist, but now is for reconstruction. There is a man there who pretended to be a Union man and has taken the oath, named Birney Chafin, but is undoubtedly a Southern spy; he has always a number of bushwhackers with him in his house, and I am well satisfied-beyond a doubt; he is the worst man and most dangerous spy the rebels have there. A detective in the shape of a Confederate soldier would reveal he is a rebel spy; his brother is a lieutenant in a bushwhack company. There is one Captain L. M. Kirk that has a company there, and belongs to Colonel Biffle's rebel regiment. Kirk has killed several Union men in cold blood, and is a terror to all Union sentiment. He, as well as Chafin, ought not to live one day. From what I could learn, one-half of that county is for the Union. I went