January 1, 1864.
A detachment of seventy-five men, composed of a proportionate number from each of four companies constituting Major Henry A. Cole's Maryland cavalry battalion, on a scout in the vicinity of Harper's Ferry, Maryland, were suddenly encountered, at a point near Rectortown, by a force of rebel cavalry, belonging to the brigade under the command of General Rosser. After fighting gallantly and until fifty-seven out of their number (seventy-five) were either killed or captured, the remaining eighteen made their way in safety to camp. Several of those who escaped found their feet frozen when they reached camp.
Colonel William S. Hawkins, of the “Hawkins scouts,” a leader in the scouting service of the rebel forces under General Bragg, was captured at the house of a Mr. Mayberry, on Lick Creek, Kentucky, by Sergeant Brewer, of Major Breathitt's battalion of Kentucky cavalry.--at Memphis, Tennessee, the thermometer stood at ten degrees below zero, and at Cairo, Illinois, at sixteen degrees below. A number of soldiers were frozen to death at Island No.10.--the Richmond Whig, in an article setting forth the condition of military and naval affairs at the South, concluded its remarks as follows: “Thus  we find we have an army poorly clad, scantily fed, indifferently equipped, badly mounted, with insufficient trains, and with barely enough ammunition. To remedy the evil, we are going to double, and if possible, quadruple the number of men and horses, take away every efficient master from the agricultural districts, and leave the laborers, on whom both men and horses depend for existence, a prey to natural idleness, and with every inducement to revolt. If this be not judicial madness, the history of desperate measures adopted by feeble and affrighted councils does not present an example.”
Andrew J. Hamilton, Military Governor of Texas, issued an able address to the citizens of that State, setting forth their duties to themselves and their government.