KNOXVILLE, TENN., December 13, 1861.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.
DEAR SIR: My letter to you of the 3rd instant* was hastily and inconsiderately written and I regret the strong and intemperate language used; and inasmuch as no exceptions except in the most mild and gentlemanly tems have been taken to that letter I feel myself under the more obligations to make an apology.
I have been peculiarly situated here in East Tennessee. My fight with the Linclolnites for thelast eight months has been as severe a conflict as any this war will record. I h ave not only held possession of the East Tennessee and Georgia road against the will of the Lincoln portion of my stockholders and for a long time guarded our brigdes with troops in our own pay but I have worked the road all the time in the face of this violent and threatening opposition and never once failed to carry through both troops and munitions and provisions without delay. Moreover when the East Tennessee and Virginia completely broke down I did not hesitate to shoulder that responsibility and by superhuman efforts operated it also to what advantage to the army you are aware. Under all these circumstances worn down by excitement and labor I am sometimes thrown off my guard. When the Hessians burned by bridges Colonel Myers immediately wrote me to know what aid I needed. Not wanting to tax any one with my work I answered promptly, "None other than to send me funds due for work done for the Confederate States. " Colonel Ashe came along; I gave him the same answer and he assured me our money should be paid and on his arrival at Richmond telegraphed me to send McClung immediately for our money. I sent McClung and was astonished to receive by telegraph from him the news that Colonel Myers not only repudiated Ashe's contract with the roads but it would be days before he would be able to send me money. This in addition to the fact that captains, majors, were ordering our trains in and out hazarding life and property and leaving me no control of either road of ferries, and then the order from Richmond to guard Brownlow, the prince of bridge-burning Lincolnites over the mountains in safety, all conspired to put out of humor much more even-tempred men than myself.
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In two weeks I will have a better ridge than the one destroyed.
HEADQUARTERS CARROLL'S BRIGADE,
Knoxville, Tenn., December 19, 1861.
Honorable D. M. CURRIN, Richmond, Va.
DEAR SIR: * * * In September Major-General Polk sent General W. H. Carroll here for the purpose of endeavoring to being the people over to the support of the Confederate Government and to enlist one or more regiments for the Army. General Carroll succeeded beyond his expectations, raising and organizing in a very short time a full regiment-coming too mostly from those counties where in June the heaviest vote had been polled against the separation of Tennessee
* Not found.