COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,
Frankfort, December 8, 1863.
Major W. H. SIDELL,
Provost-Marshal-General of Kentucky:
Under some order of General Hurlbut, the counties lying below the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers in Kentucky, which are embraced in his military are being much disturbed by an arbitrary military conscription. Kentucky is your district, and if I understand it properly, conscription can only be enforced through you. If General Hurlbut proceeds to supersede you in that district, other general and subordinates may in other districts, and our whole plans in Kentucky become utterly confused. I have letters and information from citizens and representatives from there which leave no doubt but that a regular military conscription is being carried out in that district. We want these men for our old regiments, and to be organized as agreed between the Secretary of War and myself.
THOS. E. BRAMLETTE,
Governor of Kentucky.
CHATTANOOGA, December 14, 1863.
Major W. H. SIDELL, Provost-Marshal of Kentucky:
Your letter of the 9th instant inclosing copy of Governor Bramlette's of the 8th, relating to Major-General Hurlbut's late order affecting conscription in that part of his district embraced in the State of Kentucky, is just received.
Major-General Sherman commands the department embracing General Hurlbut's command, and the matter should be referred to him, or at least through him, but the general being now in East Tennessee and rather inaccessible, I will correct any abuse that may have already occurred, and give proper directions for future action.
The State of Kentucky, having civil laws, and officers to enforce them, should not be interfered with any more than any other loyal State, except where it may become necessary to maintain peace and order at a military post.
The towns of Columbus, Paducah, and Hickman have no doubt become places of refuge for disreputable persons from all parts of the country. General Hurlbut's order was intended or ought to intend to correct this evil.
Further than to collect these people, I will direct him to desist from the execution of his order in the State of Kentucky.
Actual citizens of the towns named who have committed no act against military law shall not be molested by the order.
U. S. GRANT,
HEADQUARTERS SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Memphis, Tennessee, December 14, 1863.
Brigadier General J. D. STEVENSON, Corinth, Miss.:
GENERAL: In reply to your telegram in relation to Forrest and his probable course in West Tennessee, I state for your information that as I had been advised sometime before his arrival of his plan of