From our army in Kentucky.[Special Correspondence of the Dispatch.]
Columbus, Ky., Dec. 4, 1861.Contrary, no doubt, to what you might expect from your point of observation, our Army will, I presume, go into winter quarters. The rigors of the season furnish a severe argument against any forward movements just at present. I am afraid that our policy is too severely defensive, both here and upon the line of the Potomac. The President's plan to merely repel invasion I have regarded as the correct one, if not carried to that extreme that would seem to grant the enemy a too conscious immunity and security from all intrusion on our part. But occasion has arrived, I think, for change in this policy. Heretofore we had to cope with the Federals at such disadvantages that it would have been the height of impolicy to have provoked them by invasion; but now that our resources are sufficient to make us respectable contestants, the attempt of the enemy to divert our forces should be counteracted by our diverting theirs, by resorting to the very means they use to divert ours, namely, invasion, or at all events some demonstration of active hostility. The threatening advance of Price and McCulloch against St. Louis, for illustration, has in some measure already demonstrated that the policy of attack would greatly relieve Kentucky. The present inert policy is certainly opening the door of invasion very wide to the enemy, without affording any advantage to ourselves, whereas by invading their territory, or even attacking their lines, we would draw their armies back from our soil to defend their own. My opinion is, that the enemy regard this as too important a point, and have expended too much money in gun-boats and floating batteries for the express purpose of taking Columbus, to long defer the attack in carrying out their favorite plan of descending the Mississippi. They say they must have it, and we are all the time adding to the strength and nature of its defences. Reinforcements are arriving daily, and we now have sufficient force here, I think, to repulse the enemy, no matter in what number. I do not expect another engagement, unless a naval one entirely, before next week, as the roads are now too moist for the enemy's artillery. The Lincoln gun-boats, I think, may be expected at any moment. I have barely time before the mail closes to narrate an anecdote too good to be lost. One of our Generals had been very frequently applied to with requisitions for Spiritous vini Gallici, the abbreviation Spir, vini. Gal. only being used, and the General not knowing what was meant, but supposing that the applicants, (surgeons, of course,) only wanted some kind of medicine, granted every application. He applied to the medical purveyor to know why he had not supplied the army with this Spir. vini. Gal., and why so many requisitions had to be made for the article. ‘"Well, I'll be d — d,"’ said the purveyor, ‘"I've just found out how so much liquor has been finding its way into our army; it is upon your signing requisitions for French brandy;"’ and the doctor had his laugh heartily at the cruel expense of the General. Studyx.