ciation for the double purpose of opposition to the Government and resistance to the laws, and for harassing, robbing, and sometimes murdering the good and loyal citizens.
They make weekly, in fact almost daily, incursions from their headquarters, above Pikeville, Marion County, into the adjacent counties, and rob all good citizens in their course of their horses, arms, money, provisions, clothing, bed-clothing, and all else that can be of any use to them, and not infrequently carry off as captives the males of the families. They never fail to do this if they find a man who has been prominent in the support of the Government and in aiding to send to the army deserters and others who are of our service. They are taken off ruthlessly from the bosom of their families, and are never heard of afterward, and there is little doubt that they are cruelly and brutally murdered. They are organized and their numbers daily increasing, and they growing more bold and extending their incursions farther and farther. They have within this week committed robberies and carried off one of the best citizens in this district, within 12 or 14 miles of this place.
The most of the good citizens of Marion County have either been robbed and driven from their homes or murdered, and the same scenes are beginning to be enacted in the northern portion of this county. They frequently hang a man by the neck till he is almost lifeless to make him tell where his money and valuables are. They are organized under the leadership of one John Stout, a desperate and bad though bold and not unskillful man.
The state of the country is indeed, sir, desperate, and must, unless some force can be sent to put down this organization, become totally ruined. I think, from the best information I can get, that they cannot muster at once more than 60 to 100 men, and perhaps regularly not more than 30 to 50. Lieutenant Neill, who will hand you this, can give you a fuller and more minute account of the state of things than it is possible for me to write.
I think, sir, and so does he, that if you can give him a detail of 50 good men, with plenty of ammunition, that with the volunteer citizens we can get we will be able to capture a large proportion of them and disperse the rest, and thus rid the county of such a dangerous enemy and sore pest; and I cannot omit to urge that whatever can be done be done immediately, or, at any rate, as early as possible.
In the above statement there is no particle of exaggeration; all the circumstances stated and much more of the same character can be amply proven.
Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,
D. P. WALSTON,
Captain, Commanding Rendezvous.
[Inclosure Numbers 2.]
March 28, 1864.
DEAR SIR: I beg leave to report that the tories on Wednesday night last made a raid into Marion County and captured and carried off with them Drury McMinn, a citizen of that county and a loyal man to the South. It is feared that they intend to deal foully with