Today in History:

390 Series I Volume XX-II Serial 30 - Murfreesborough Part II

Page 390 KY.,MID. AND E. TENN.,N. ALA.,AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXII.

they stacked at Hazle Green 360 muskets. I took away from them these arms, and mustered them out of service on the spot. But I retained two companies of recruits, who had joined the regiment, and the recruits and re-enlisted men in the other companies made another company. I found company officers participating in the spirit of the men, and was entirely satisfied that I could not march 50 of the twelve-months' men out of Kentucky. I was guided in the step I took by my judgment of what was best for the service, and by the course the Department had taken in the case of the First Kentucky Regiment, disbanded last summer. To afford an opportunity to recruit this regiment, I directed Colonel Hawkins to take position in the vicinity of Prestonburg, and to hold it until further orders. I had sent Captain Mynhier and Captain Diamond into that section to raise a regiment of infantry; they had collected several hundred men, who were sworn into the service for the war.

Mr. Ficklin had raised near Owingsville, Bath County, four companies of infantry. These marched with me from Owingsville to Harrodsburg, where it was supposed we were going to meet the enemy, but after the retreat from Kentucky was determined on, and they were called upon to pass their homes, to leave their families to the tender mercies of the Union men of Kentucky, it was more than they were willing to stand, and they vanished day after day, until Ficklin had not 20 men left before I arrived at the forks of Middle Creek (the point where my course took off directly to Pound Gap).

Captain Caudill went to Whitesburg, Letcher County, with authority to raise a regiment in the mountains of Kentucky, and in thirty days had enlisted nine full companies of infantry, with which he drove the Home Guards through several counties. Understanding that these also commenced to desert when it was expected they were to leave Kentucky immediately, I directed Caudill to remain in Kentucky with his command until further orders. Four mounted companies, under Major Johnson (formerly member of Congress from Kentucky), Caudill's nine companies (600), and three companies under Colonel Hawkins (325 men), remained in Kentucky when I crossed the mountains, and yet occupy the country from Whitesburg to Prestonburg, thus affording a point of refuge to Kentuckians who may have the will to come to the army, and, at all events, a guard along the valley of the Sandly and upon the roads leading through Pound Gap. I have dispatches from Colonel Hawkins and Major Johnson as late as the 2nd of November. The enemy had not come farther than Mount Sterling. My mounted men scout the country yet from Louisa to West Liberty, and find no enemy. This range dips into the section from which most of the recruits came, and I have a hope that they will, to a large number, rejoin our standards. I feel sure they will if they can have any sort of assurance that there will be an effort to maintain a foothold in Kentucky. In any event, they will render the passage of our friends from the State secure, with negroes and other property, and may be of vast benefit in covering droves of cattle and hogs to be driven from Kentucky into the Confederacy. If they do no more, they may require a strong party to compel them to retire from the State.

I felt it to be my duty to send out all the troops I had in my column, except Kentuckians, and I should have also brought them if I had not met such resistance on their part as to assure me they would desert before they would come.

Now, as to the twelve-months' men in the mounted battalion and Shawhan's cavalry company, who did come, and who now want to be discharged; I appealed to them successfully to stand by their colors until

Page 390 KY.,MID. AND E. TENN.,N. ALA.,AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXII.