along my entire line, threatening the bridges, one of which they succeeded in destroying. As there is no [hope] of an immediate advance upon Chattanooga, I will now contract my line.
Do I understand that my acting brigadiers will be promoted?
O. M. MITCHEL,
HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION,
Camp Taylor, Huntsville, Ala., May 4, 1862.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War, Washington City:
SIR: You will have heard before this reaches you of Colonel Morgan's raid upon Pulaski, his capture of 15 officers (among them my son, Lieutenant E. M. Mitchel), and about 250 privates. When ordered forward from Murfreesborough, General Buell having advanced to Savannah, I was greatly surprised to find that I was not permitted to have command of my own lines of communication with Nashville. The troops under General Negley and those under Colonel Duffield were not subject to my order. After reaching Huntsville I saw the necessity for change in the disposition of these troops, and urged it upon both commanding officers. I begged General Negley to throw forward a regiment to Pulaski, which he did not do; General Buell directing to the contrary. Why Tuscumbia was not occupied in force during the ten days it was held by me, and which I urged as strongly as I dared, I am unable to divine. I informed General Buell two weeks since that the enemy, unable to subsist their horses at Corinth, were sending off their cavalry, and would enter Tennessee in small bands and greatly annoy us by guerrilla warfare. While I was occupied with Bridgeport, Morgan crossed the Tennessee above Florence at the head of about 400 cavalry, and Scott with about 200 more. Scott attacked my outposts Athens, and has been driven back across Elk River defeated and scattered.
On the same day Morgan entered Pulaski without resistance, and captured our returning sick as they came in unarmed in small numbers.
Fortunately we have prisoners enough to effect an exchange, and for my son I hold Morgan's brother, first lieutenant and aide-de-camp to General Crittenden.
The chief difficulty growing out of the matter is the uncertainty with which my supply train moves and the alarm created among cotton buyers. I have taken the most active measures to prevent the crossing of the river by any considerable force without my knowledge. I am exposed on a river front of 120 miles. I have not under my command a cavalry force of more than 500 effective men. I am compelled therefore to resort to means which under any other circumstances I would not use.
The negroes are our only friends, and in two instances I owe my own safety to their faithfulness. I shall very soon have watchful guards among the slaves on the plantations bordering the river from Bridgeport to Florence, and all who communicate to me valuable information I have promised the protection of my Government.
Should my course in this particular be disapproved, it would be impossible for me to hold my position. I must abandon the line of railway, and Northern Alabama falls back in the hands of the enemy.
No re-enforcements have been sent to me, and I am promised none