MARYVILLE, December 18, 1861.
General J. C. RAMSEY.
DEAR SIR: I take occasion now to answer the inquiries contained in your letter of the 14th instant.
After Brownlow came to this county we availed ourselves of every opportunity to find out about his saying and doings but he so covered over his trail we have been able to ascerain but little concerning him. On the first Monday of November, the Monday immediately preceding the bridge-burning, some 300 to 500 perons were in town most all of whom were Union men. It was the day of our quorum county court at which not more than a score or two persons usually attend. We did not understand the occasion of so many persons and especially Union men assembling, and at first supposed they had mistaken the day Baxter was to speak and had come to hear him. Upon making inquiry we found that that was not the case; that they knew he was to speak the next day; and furthermore we learned for the first time that they were not going to vote for Baxter' but still we could not ascertain on what business or for what purpose they had all come to town.
About 11 o'clock Brownlow and old Parson [James] Cumming came in and put at Rev. Mr. [W. T.] Dowell's. Immediately after their arrival there was a general going to see them at Dowell's by the Unionties. Caucuses and private conferences were the order of that day and night. We could learn nothing that Brownlow was saying. His companion (Cumming), however, in the course of the day told a friend of his, a Union man and a broher in the church, that the Federal Army would be at Knoxville the last of that week; that Brownlow had left Knoxville until its arrival, and that as soon as the army reached there he was going back and resume the publication of his paper. He assured his friend that his might be relieved on; that he had received it from a reliable source and there was not doubt of it. Whatever might have been the occasion of the assemblage we discovered very clearly that there was something going on that pleased the Union men exceedingly. They seemed in very goog spirits and more confident and defiant than they had been for months.
The next morning the news was brought to town-at least we Southern men heard it then for the first time-that the Federal Army was at Jamestown 12,000 strong and coming on to Knoxville. About 10 o'clock that morning Brownlow and Cumming and a man by the name of Mainis left town for the mountains. They went that night to Sinder's in Tuckaleeche Cove. The next day they went into Weir's Cove in Sevier County. There they parted, Brownlow remaining in the cove and Cumming and Mainis going over toward Waldron's Creek. On that day Mainis told a man by the name of Walter substantially the same thing Cumming had told Jennigs. I have no doubt they told the same thing to many others but we have tried them long enough in similar cases to know that the Union men will no evidence against ech other and especially against their leaders.
On the Monday morning after the bridges were burned the news was circulated in our town. Shortly thereafter Dowell at whose house Browlonow had staid left for coves, and the next day or the day after Mains who in the meantime had returned left also. He afterwards sent back after his family and has never returned. One remark-