LOUISVILLE, February 5, 1865.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Cumberland:
Colonel Dent, of General Grant's staff, is here with very important papers for General Thomas. What is the quickest way to get them to him and when will General Thomas be in Nashville?
The orders contemplate a cavalry movement and that I should receive orders from General Thomas as soon as possible. Please answer at once.
PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL.] HARTFORD, KY., February 5, 1865.
Major General S. G. BURBRIDGE:
DEAR SIR: Although a stranger to you, under the circumstances I take the liberty of writing to you, hoping a statement in part of our awful condition will be sufficient apology. On Sunday, the 22nd of January, a company of about forty men, equipped in Federal uniform, came here, representing that they were of the Fourth Missouri Cavalry and were detached to hunt guerrillas in this section, and the captain, who said his name was Clarke, deceived Colonel Shanks and myself and caused us to regard him as a true Federal captain. Their uniform and good behavior whilst in this place and the conversation we had with the said Clarke sufficiently satisfied us that he and his company were Federal, and wishing a guide to conduct him toward the Ohio River, where the guerrillas most abound, we recommenced Lieutenant Barnett, who was in the neighborhood as a recruiting officer of the One hundred and twenty-fifth U. S. Colored Infantry. Barnett was sent for and readily consented, knowing the country well, and W. B. Lawton, and enlisted soldier in an Indiana regiment, who was here to see his family on leave wishing to return to Evansville to his regiment, but was detained from starting on account of the numerous gangs of guerrillas who were and are now prowling about this county, but after having a talk with said Clarke privately, as I have since understood, Clarke told him he was going to Owensborough and would see him safe there if he would go with them. He started with them, and after they left this town they were joined by W. Lownsley, a discharged soldier of the Third Kentucky Cavalry. About three miles form Hartford, near the Hawsville road, they hung Lownsley, it is supposed. He was found in the woods near a week afterward. They shot Lawton after traveling with him about twelve miles,a nd shot Barnett about sixteen miles from here. Their bodies were all found. They are the same, no doubt, that Captain Bridgewater overtook near Harrodsburg, an account of the skirmish being published in the Louisville Union Press.
General, our situation here is desperate. I mean we who have stood firm for our Government. Every gang of guerrillas who come here-and their visits of late are frequent-inquire for the men who voted for our worthy Chief Magistrate, Lincoln, and to save our lives we have to take to the brush and hide out until they are gone. The copperheads-Bramlette men-chuckle over it, and have no fear as to themselves. We were rejoiced yesterday on receiving the Press and reading your speech at Frankfort. We have picked up courage, hoping now that our suffering will soon be over. Your plan of having men in every county will no doubt soon clean out the guerrillas, whose deeds in this
42 R R-VOL XLIX, PT I