(From the Nashville Banner, Dec. 30)
The Nashville Banner has an interesting letter from Bowling Green, dated the 30th ult., from which we gather the following extraction:
Ten days since an engagement of no small magnitude was imminent in the quarter – Divisions and columns and batteries were driving forward, and our leaders urging on the advance. The enemy at Green river was in heavy force, and expecting continually to be joined by their entire and immense army, which was moving down, while their advance were thrown, menacingly, across the stream. The two armies were thus in close proximity and advancing. This state of things certainly justified the general expectation of an immediate fight, and quickened the public pulse as regarded the result. Since that time considerable change has taken place in the military status. Hindman’s forces, which formed our advance, have fallen back this side of Cave City, while the Federals, frightened by the warm reception given them by the lamented Col. Terry, have for the most part retreated beyond Green river. The brigade of General Breckinridge is encamped about twelve miles above here while the Kentucky cavalry still remains in possession of Glasgow. The Federal force this side of Green river is variously reported, but it is fair to presume, from the best information at hand, that it numbers from three to five thousand. They, for the present seem disinclined to retake a hasty advance.
Mentioning the return of the Texan Rangers the letter says:
They represent the Federals are being afraid of fight, and not anxious to attempt an advance. They confirm the reported estimate of the army this side of Green river, via that it is from three to five thousand. On the 29th, the Federals, in heavy force, estimated by some at seven thousand, appeared on the North bank of Green river opposite Brownsville, which is in Edmonson county, and distant from this place 24 miles. Their actions and manners indicated a design to attempt the crossing of the river, if any such design, however, were entertained, it was abandoned, as none of them have been seen south of the river in that region.
THE CONFLICT NEAR AT HAND
Notwithstanding the falling back of troops on both sides, and the non occurrence of any exciting event during the past ten days, multiplied in numbers and more mighty on the rebound, the two armies are about rushing together for mastery in the conflict. Our future, and perhaps yours, is to be decided, and soon, too, by the stern arbitrament of the sword. Like Camilius of old, we throw our steel in the scales before the advancing and extorting Gauls, and tell them it is with that alone we purchase liberty. The vast accessions referred to as being daily made to the Federal army, and the eagerness they exhibit to find out everything relating to our forces and movements, coupled with the fact that thirty thousand more of their mercenary hordes have been authorized for immediate service in Kentucky, show that they intend to move forward with every available means they can command. On our side, every indication goes to show an early conflict impending. Our generals, ever alert, exhibit increased vigilance and activity. One day they are on the advance lines, the next, inspecting positions, the third reviewing their troops. They are here, there and everywhere. Vast reinforcements are pouring in at a rate more rapid than anything that has yet been witnessed. On arrival, quarters are immediately assigned them, the localities being selected before they reach here.
The instructions are to be ready for any emergency. A few days since, the Forty-first Tennessee, a full, brave and splendid looking regiment, reached here. Just after them came three Mississippi regiments. Yesterday, the entire force from Camp Beauregard arrived. – General Bowen’s entire division, 7,000 strong, are coming – two of the regiments reached here to-day. They were the Twenty-second Mississippi, Col. Bonham, and the Twenty-second Tennessee. The others will follow to-morrow. General McCulloch, the world renowned Ben, is on his way here, with his redoubtable troopers, and General Floyd and his forces, it is stated this evening that he had arrived at Gallatin, whence he would take up his line of march for Scottsville, Kentucky. – If this be true, he is designed to co-operate with Zollicoffer. Scottville, is twenty five miles east of this place, immediately on the main turnpike leading to the Central part of Kentucky. Cavalry, artillery, and heavy batteries are also daily coming, in large quantities. The great conflict, then, though it may not take place as soon as recent events may have led us to suppose, is near at hand, and cannot be deferred.
– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, February 1, 1862, p. 1