in this section of Alabama, although quite two months has elapsed since the enemy left it, and those who ought to be in the Army or to go into it are restoring to every expedient for escaping conscription. Some half dozen are ensconced in the Niter Bureau office established here. Others are engaging in manufactures or trades or mining, and others are getting certificates of chronic disorders that their neighbors never suspected them of.
The reported retreat of Bragg and the disastrous defeat of Van Dorn have caused general dismay, and many are preparing to abandon their homes and to seek security in the mountains of Middln as the army of Buell reaches the southern boundary of Kentucky. This city is the place where the Union feeling most prevailed and where it now most exists. It has given tone to the political sentiment of North Alabama. If examples could be made of the leading traitors here, or if they could be restrained from commerce with the enemy, it would have a most salutary effect. I assure you that there are men here holding office under the Confederate Government, receivers under the registration act, who have been guilty of disloyal acts. I would suggest that an enrolling officer be appointed immediately. Captain L. H. Scruggs, Company I, Fourth Alabama, now major or lieutenant-colonel by promotion, is now here on crutches, having been severely wounded at Sharpsburg, and begs authority to enroll men to recruit his regiment. He cannot return to his regiment for several weeks and will gladly employ his time in trying to fill up that gallant regiment, which is now reduced to only 200 men. I trust that a telegram will be sent him to enroll recruits or to accept them as volunteers. In the adjoining county of Jackson, Samuel D. J. Moore would be an excellent enrolling officer. In this county Edward C. Betts would serve efficiently. If Moore were appointed for the counties of Jackson, Madison, Limestone, Lauderdale, Franklin, Lawrence, and Morgan, with authority to employ deputies in each, he would do the duties, I think, faithfully and efficiently. He is a graduate of West Point Military Academy and a respectable lawyer. If a camp of instruction were established here and he appointed to command it, a very whole some influence would be exerted. This is as central and as accessible a point for the counties of all North Alabama and Middle Tennessee as any other. There is needing here something to assure the people of the existence of our Government, and of its power to protect or to punish.
Our Treasury notes are frequently returned, and are exchanged at a discount of 50 per cent. for Alabama or Tennessee bank notes. It is currently reported that Mrs. Judge Lane will return to this place or to North Alabama in a few weeks. This should not be permitted; or, if she come, she should be removed beyond our lines as soon as possible. She is as disloyal as her husband (now in Washington City), and much more dangerous. Any communication to Samuel D. J. Moore or to Captain L. H. Scruggs or to Edward C. Betts addressed to me by mail or telegraph will receive my prompt attention.
If the cartel you showed me, providing for the release of political prisoners and respect of non-combatants and private property, was signed by Stanton please let me know it. I have troubled you with this communication as an imperative duty, and hope it will receive your prompt attention.
I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. C. CLAY, Jr.