previous next

From Kentucky.

Combination of Generals Buckner's, Polk's, and Zollicoffer's forces — the recent skirmish at Bacon Creek — Admirable condition of the Confederate troops, etc.

The following letter from Lebanon, Ky., to the Louisville Journal, will be interesting as giving our readers an insight into matters and things in that portion of the State:

Leeanon, Ky., Oct. 16, 1861.
As I informed you by telegraph last evening, three men passed through Lebanon yesterday afternoon on their way to their homes from the Southern Confederacy. One of the party was an old gentleman who resides in Mercer county. He has two sons in the Confederate army, and has visited Buckner's headquarters to see them. He was accompanied on his return by two young men from Fayette county, who say that they had gone South to join the army, but, as they would not receive recruits for a shorter period than three years, they determined to return home. A highly respected citizen of this place conversed with the gentleman from Mercer county, and, having had an acquaintance of many years standing with him, knew what estimate to place upon the statements which be made. My informant does not hesitate to place full confidence in the reports which the reveller brings relative to the situation and motions of the rebel army.

He says that the divisions under Buckner, Polk, and Zellicoffer are combining, and that when the commands are finally joined, the grand army under Polk will embrace from thirty to forty thousand men, who are well armed and equipped. It is the policy of the rebels to draw out Gen. Rousseau's forces as far as possible on the line of the Louisville and Nashville road, and then, with their superior force, to flank Gen. Rousseau, cut off his retreat, and then, with the Federal forces completely in their power, to make an easy conquest of Louisville.

The officers of the rebel army, he says, are regularly informed as to the movements of the Federal force, familiar with their numbers and posted as to their leading designs. The rebel spits are said to be cunning and active, employing means heretofore unheard of to reacquaint themselves with the movements of the Federals. They pass our lines upon forged passes, and even obtain passes through the connivance and interference of persons of influence who are thought to be loyal. It is the custom of rebel horsemen to rip open their saddles, secrete their correspondence in them, sew them up again, and thus a vert detection, even after submitting to a rigid search. In some cases they secrete letters in the lining of their horses bridles, and thus delude the Federal guards.

The old gentleman alluded to, says that Roger Hanson is at Woodsonville, which is the nearest point toward Louisville on the Nashville road, at which the rebels have any considerable force. They are making entrenchments and erecting batteries there, and will strongly oppose the Federal advance beyond Woodsonville. He says that on Sunday he saw twelve heavy pieces of artillery there, which were being placed in position.

He was fully posted in reference to the skirmish between Col. Crittenden's pickets and those of the rebels at Bacon Creek, on Saturday last, mention of which has already been made in the Journal. John Morgan, of Lexington, headed the rebel forces, and it was he who dismounted from his horse and shot the Indiana captain. Morgan passed through Lebanon about six weeks ago with several wagon loads of linsey for the Confederate army.

He had permits and passes from the Federal authorities, and letters from leading Union men. In this way professed Union men in our very midst have done more to aid the rebellion than those who have openly avowed their sympathies for the traitors.

The traveler spoke with a display of glee of the condition and numbers of the rebel army; of the perfect confidence which they felt in an early victory, and of the completeness of their armaments and general outfit. I saw a body of over two thousand Indians, who were splendidly equipped, each bearing a bowie-knife of almost fabulous proportions, in addition to the ordinary arms worn by the infantry.

Col. Harlan's regiment is filling up rapidly, and will soon be thoroughly organized. Captain Henry G. Davidson, of Louisville, Company A. joined his company on Monday. His men are fine looking fellows, and will do honor to the service. They possess the true metal of soldiers, as an incident which came under my observation last night amply proved. Captain Davidson was called upon at a late hour to furnish a squad of ten men for an expedition to the country which was considered somewhat hazardous. He called upon his men for volunteers for the expedition, and in a twinkling every man in the company fell into line and clamored to be accepted. Nothing short of a peremptory order would induce any of his men to remain in camp, and, indeed, after the departure of the ten, they were joined by several who had been left behind, but who had succeeded in dodging the guard, so determined were they to take part in the first enterprise which promised an exposure to danger. Lieut. Jas. Wharton, of Washington county, who is attached to Capt. Palmer's cavalry, of Colonel Harlan's regiment, claimed the privilege to accompany the expedition. He is a gallant officer, and should opportunity offer he will not fail to win distinction.

I have just heard how Col. John M. Harlan and Capt. Jos. G. Wilson, of your city, escaped a trap which had been set for them by the rebel scouts, who fell into the hands of the Federal pickets as prisoners of war. They left the vicinity of Hongensville on Sunday evening, on horseback, having reason to believe it would be unsafe for them to remain over night in that locality, and were congratulating themselves upon a narrow escape when they were confronted by the pickets from Col. Willich's Indiana regiment, a distance of three miles from New Haven. They were ordered to dismount, and the display of half a dozen bright bayonets, attached to many Springfield rifles, was an argument that they did not feel disposed to combat. In vain they exhibited passes and letters from distinguished sources, and were marched at the point of the aforesaid bayonets a distance of three miles, on foot, to Col. Willich's headquarters, at New Haven. And the German Colonel was as incredulous of their protestation of loyalty as their captors had been, intimating that it was not impossible that their passes had been obtained in an irregular way. The prisoners were finally identified by some loyal citizens of New Haven, who obtained Col. Willich's consent to their release. They spent the night with Col. W., who gave them the freedom of his tent, and the luckless Colonel and his companions drowned their sorrows in a basket of Col. Willich's Rhenish wine.

I have just had an interview with a member of an extensive mercantile firm in New York, who has interests South and who has traveled extensively in the South, having left Buckner's headquarters at Bowling Green on Monday. He says that Buckner has 10,000 men at Bowling Green, and Gen. Hardee is in command at Cave City. On Friday last Zollicoffer was in Richmond. He has a force of two thousand at Cumberland Gap, but his main force of eight thousand is at Youngsville,

a distance of twenty miles from the railroad, ready for transportation to Nashville for service on the Nashville road.

My informant says it is not the policy of the rebels to oppose Gen. Rousseau's progress down the Nashville road until his forces shall have crossed Green river.

For obvious reasons the rebel pickets and scouts have all been withdrawn from the region of country between Bowling Green, Ghagow, and Greensburg, and my informant is clearly of opinion that it would be fatal to Gen. Rousseau's command to cross the Green river with anything like the present force under his command.

There are at present many military gentlemen in Lebanon from your city.

From Eastern Kentucky--Fright of the Lincolnites.

The Cincinnati Commercial publishes the following letters from citizens of Portsmouth, Ohio. It is certainly refreshing to see with what cool impudence these Ohio nigger stealers talk of coming over to Kentucky and "cleaning out" her brave people. They will, we apprehend, get heartily sick of the job before they get through with it:

Bgonn Furnace, Oct. 5, 1861.
There is a terrible excitement up here.--Every person is up in arms. We have been keeping out guards and spies ever since Monday, and I do not think there has been a man but what has slept on his gun every night.--Last night there were three reports came in about three o'clock in the morning. The rebels had taken Ohio Hill, and were coming this way. John T. Ratcliff and Henry R. Pogue went up what is called Triplett and stopped all night at Morehead with two hundred and fifty men, on their way to a secesh camp at Prestonsburg. They say there is about four thousand there, and two thousand at Pike.

The supposition here is that they are getting a very heavy force, and intend to clean out Grayson and this place, as they are determined to have revenge for taking them prisoners and killing the two at Grayson. I think the best thing that could be done would be to form a camp at Grayson, as the whole upper end of this State is pretty well thinned out of men, and the secesh are recruiting from Tennessee and also from the lower end of Virginia and Kentucky; so, they are collecting a very heavy force, and there is something that will be done soon — where, we do not know.

We have the Jefferson Home Guard here from Kinney brock on guard to-night, as our guards are all tired out. They have had a pretty hard tramp of it marching from Grayson, and then standing on guard for two nights. And the best thing that Portsmouth could do would be to help get up a camp somewhere in the upper end of this State, as it would be a great protection for her, for, if they should clean out this place and Grayson, they would have a clean sweep for her.

As I am a sergeant of the guard to-night, I thought I would write and give you the full particulars of our proceedings out here.

A letter from Catlettsburg, Ky., dated Oct. 19, from S. S. Hampton, Lieut. Col. 8th Ky. regiment, at Camp Douglas, (Lincolnites,) says:

‘ We last night learned through some thirty five Union men, who scattered through the woods and arrived here from Pike county, that the rebels have come into Prestonsburg in force, from Virginia, to the number of seven thousand, well armed and equipped, and have extended their pickets down near Peach Orchard, forty miles from this place. Every person is fleeing before them. Do whatever you can in men and arms. I have just received a letter from Major Thomas D. Green, of Portsmouth. He says the Government will do all that can be done.

’ The Union men are pouring in large numbers, but we have neither supplies nor arms. Mr. Gallop, who has been to Louisville for Col. Moore's regiment, reports seventeen regiments ahead of him for supplies, and that they cannot be furnished.

Prestonsburg is sixty five miles up the Big Sandy, and Piketon is one hundred and five miles up the same. Prestonsburg is in Floyd county, and is connected with Abingdon, Va., which is situated on the Great Southern Railroad, by a good road, along which vast quantities of Kentucky stock have been driven for the Southern army.

The Mt. Sterling (Ky.) Whig, of the 11th, has the following particulars in reference to the "rebel" encampment near Prestonsburg, Floyd county, which has been christened "Camp Dixie."

‘ There are between 3,000 and 4,000 men in it, and more coming in every day. Not half of these have arms. Breckinridge left some ten or fourteen days ago for Richmond to get arms and ammunition, and additional troops. He succeeded in getting nearly enough arms and ammunition to equip those now in camp but failed in getting additional troops immediately, though the hope was held out to him that it might not be long before they would be forwarded. He sent word back to this effect to Colonel Williams and Bob Woolly, who left on Friday last to make arrangements to have them shipped.

’ We got this from a man who was in camp, knew Williams well, and had it from his own lips. A one-legged fellow by the name of Menifee, and John P. Ficklin, of Bath, are the drill Colonels. Before Williams gets back, it is understood he will have his commission as Brigadier-General of the forces — The men are represented as a motley crew, copious in blasphemy, desperate of character and fortune, recklessly brave, fond of cards and whiskey, combining men of the highest intelligence with a mass of besotted ignorance, that talk about the Abolitionists waging this war to steal "our niggers," yet one half of them couldn't buy even a baby if full grown niggers were selling at ten cents a dozen.--Judge Moore, of this town, and the Ballards, who murdered Capt. Jeffries by laying in ambush in this county two weeks ago, were in camp as "big as life."

The troops, or the mob, as it might be more properly called, are not all in camp in one place. They are scattered up and down the Sandy, so that their range for foraging may be more extensive. From one of the letters written by one of these renegades back to his friends, and which through the vigilance of the Union scouts found its way into our office, we learn that a party of them had quite a battle in one of these foraging expeditions across the Sandy, killing twenty Union men, or "niggerites," as the writer called them. The crime of these people was that they were for the Union, and chose to defend their property from this marauding party. The camp is to remain a permanent one for the reception of the Secessionists of the interior, and to keep open the Virginia road, which is now the only outlet left the traitors to ship contraband from Kentucky.

The following letter we copy from the Louisville Journal:

Catlettsburg, Ky., Oct. 13.
I am sure if you were here to-day the excitement would make your head swim. The men belonging to Hon. Laban T. Moore's regiment, forming here, are all under arms, expecting an attack every hour. The town is full of reports from the country — depredations being committed in different parts of Laurance county. In Louisa, the county seat, it is said that several houses were burned last night. And now the report comes in, that six or seven thousand were marching on Louisa yesterday afternoon, and were expected there last night. The men have nearly all left that part of the country and are coming down here for assistance. If the rebels attack this place, I think they will get a warm reception. But I will not brag before the light comes off.

You may wish to know where these six or seven thousand men came from. I will tell you what is said here. Some gentlemen who came here a few days since from Pike county say that the advance guard of an army came to the house of a farmer who lives in that county, took 20 or 30 head of cattle, killed them, and demanded of the citizens other supplies for four thousand men. This report is reasonable, from the fact that there is an excellent road which passes through "Pound" or "Sounding Gap," from Virginia, down Sandy to Prestonsburg; besides this, a number of other reports from persons who live in the vicinity of Prestonsburg, all go to show that there are about seven thousand troops there.

I hope you will urge on our military authorities the necessity of sending some competent man to take charge of this particular part of the State, and give him a sufficient number of men to break this camp up. The Union men of this region can and will furnish three or four thousand men to assist, but they are not drilled, nor have they arms or ammunition.

The occupation of this place enables the rebels to carry on an immense contraband business; horses, cattle, and hogs are taken from the Union men and driven away to the Southern States.

While I am writing, a pontoon bridge is being thrown across the Big Sandy to allow Col. Zeigler's regiment from Ceredo, Va., to cross.

Horrible Atrocity of the Lincolnites--two Southern-rights men brutally murdered at Paducah.

The Louisville (Rowling Green) Courier, of the 22d inst., contains the following:

‘ We are informed, upon what we regard as reliable authority, that last week two prominent Southern-Rights men, of Paducah, were brutally murdered by the commander of the Lincoln troops at that point, for no crime of their own, but simply in retaliation for the hooting of some rascal pickets near Paducah. The victims of the Lincoln Government were Mr. Thomas Bell and Capt. J. Davis. They were both shot, and our informant states, as a positive fact, that the brutal wretches who perpetrated the deed first nailed Bell to the wall, with large spikes, through the palms of his hands and his flesh. Men of Kentucky ! the blood of these martyrs cries aloud to you for vengeance ! Let it be swift and terrible !

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
October 16th, 1861 AD (1)
October 5th, 1861 AD (1)
October 19th (1)
October 13th (1)
22nd (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: