farther south. I hope, however, that you will be at liberty in a few days, and be with us in Kentucky before this salt-water general, Nelson, forces us to take a hand in this fratricidal war.
We are expecting trouble daily in Kentucky, the immediate cause being the violation of our neutrality by the Northern Government. Nelson, whom you know to be as d --- d a Black Republican as is to be found anywhere in the country, is now under the authority of Lincoln organizing three regiments within the borders of the State. This is a clear violation of our neutrality, and it will be resisted by a majority of the Union men in this (the Ashland) district. Nelson's encampment is about fifty miles from Lexington on the road to the Cumberland Gap. He has now about 2,000 men mustered into the service of the United States; a battery of field artillery, sis pieces (rifled). I saw the order before I left Washington authorizing Nelson to organize these troops. Secretary Cameron asked me to take command of one of these regiments under Nelson, with the promise of promotion to the position of brigadier-general so soon as a brigade was organized; all of which I positively declined, advising at the same time against the violation of Kentucky neutrality by the organization of troops under this saltwater general, Nelson, upon the soild of the State.
A majority of the Union men in Kentucky are bitterly opposed to this Nelson movement, and are now doing all in their power to remove him and his troops from the State. If we succeed all will be well with Kentucky; if not our neutrality is gone and my sword shall be drawn in the defense of the South. My ambition would be gratified if I could just command a brigade and drive Nelson across the Ohio River. It would not take much of a force to start him in the direction of Cincinnati, and if he was once started every Union man save a few like old Coombs and Judge Robinson would give him a kick to move him along. There can be no doubt as to where Kentucky will go when she is driven from her position of neutrality. I am satisfied from what I learned in Washington City that it is the fixed purpose of Lincoln to organize troops within the State of Kentucky, and that all efforts to get Nelson and his party to leave the State peaceably will prove fruitless. Therefore I am forced to the conclusion that our neutrality is gone and that we mus have war with all its horror in our midst very soon. I am glad that you denied unequivocally that I had accepted a commission of brigadier-general from Lincoln. The report is false, and without the slightest foundation. I have battled long and ardently as well as honestly for the Union. I have been prompted alone by a love of country. I thought I was fighting shoulder to shoulder with at least a few honest patriots and statesmen, but in this I am sadly deceived. The Black Republicans are fighting alone for the abolition of slave and power. They are without wisdom and honesty; they are a corrupt set of thieves. We no longer have a Union to fight for, and I am now henceforth and forever for the South - no little cotton confederacy, but every foot of slaves soil. Washington City must belong to the South. I have compromise myself so far on the side of the Union that it will take me some time to get all right. I will write to you again by the first person I hear of going to Richmond.
You must give my love to Magraw. I know confinement must go hard with a fat man in warm weather. You must try and get out of trouble before our fall races in Kentucky, and come by and spend a week with me recruiting. I have plenty of good old whisky and bacon.
My race horses are doing well, and if Nelson don't interrupt our sport this fall by running himself in the direction of the Ohio River