War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0856 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

none of them to remain armed. These are the instructions substantially that have been given to Colonel Leadbetter under which he has been acting.

Your obedient servant,


Secretary of War.


Knoxville, Tenn., December 13, 1861.

Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.

SIR: Your order to me of the 10th instant to join General Zollicoffer immediately with all my armed force reached me last night. I immediately set about making the necessary arrangements to carry the same into effect as indeed I had been doing for some days previous under instructions from General Zollicoffer himself. A portion if not all of my command would now have been on the march for General Zollicoffer's present position but for the unsettled condition of affairs in East Tennessee together with other obstacles that I have been utterly unable to overcome though I have made every possible exertion to that effect but as yet without success.

* * * * * * *

The indications of an extensive outbreak in East Tennessee at that time were so alarming that I deemed it unsafe to move my command throught that country wholly unarmed. I therefore made application in every direction for guns of any description to serve me until my own should be ready for use. I finally after much annoyance succeeded in getting from the arsenal at Memphis about 400 flint-lock muskets, rifles and double-barreled shotguns. With these imperfect and almost worthless as they were I advanced to Cahttanooga and halted my forces for a few days for the purpose of dispersing the different bands of traitors who were gathering in that vicinity. This object being accomplished I moved on to this point. When I reached here I found a general feeling of alarm and uneasiness prevailing throughout the surrounding country. Information every day reached me from all points that recreant Tennesseeans with a few miscreants from other States were organizing themselves into predatory bands in the counties of Blount, Sevier, Cocke, Hancock, Scott, Campbell and other counties bordering on the North Carolina and Kentucky line. I immediately sent out scouting parties of cavalry together with such small detachments of infantry as I could arm to protect and assist the loyal citizens of these counties in driving these base ingrates from their midst. These various parties have succeeded in arresting many of the rebellious and disaffected and bringing them to this place for trial. Out of the number thus arrested I have sent and will send about 100 as prisoners of war to Tuscaloosa. I have for some days past been receiving information from sources entitled to much credit that a considerable force of the enemy were threatening a descent from the Kentucky border upon the counties of Campbell and Scott by way of a small pass in the mountains above Cumberland Gap.

* * * * * * *

I have the honor to be, yours, respectfully,