STEVENSON, April 6, 1862.
Just back from near Shelbyville; reliable me told me that the enemy were from 10,000 to 15,000 strong there, and that there is a force of from 8,000 to 10,000 on the road to Tullahoma. I passed 224 cavalry and one cannon 2 miles north of Tullahoma. You will see their plans from the following instructions, which were given the enemy by a Tory citizen near Sweeden's Cove, [and which] were found near Decherd, where they camped last night.
Strike by way of Decherd, from there Sweeden's Cove. A valley three-quarters mile wide, 6 miles long, empties into Battle Creek, 20 miles from Decherd. No troops. Rankin's company, 80 men, two cavalry companies on the Tennessee River, south side opposite Bridgeport, Ala.; two-thirds strong Union men. (Signed) H. A. W. Ralston and nephew.
The Yankees encamped at Decherd last night, and started on road for Sweeden's Cove this morning at daylight, and I suppose will try to get to Bridgeport or Stevenson to-morrow. Assistant operator at this place is preparing to go to Bridgeport to inform out troops. It is right?
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Corinth, April 7, 1862.
COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE POST [Corinth]:
COLONEL: The general commanding directs that you organize at once into companies and regiments all stragglers at this place and all other troops collected here except the necessary guards of the post and encampment; and when so organized you will send them forward to Shiloh (the battle-field) by the Ridge road. Let them be sent whether armed or not. No arms to be sent away by cars upon any consideration.
By command of General Beauregard:
HEADQUARTERS, Richmond, Va., April 7, 1862.
Major General E. KIRBY SMITH,
Commanding, &c., Knoxville, Tenn.:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 3rd instant is received. Martial law will be declared in East Tennessee, in accordance with your suggestions. The suggestion contained in your letter of the 13th March to the Adjutant and Inspector General, with reference to transferring of troops raised in East Tennessee, is approved. If the term of service of the men expires in a short time it would not be worth the trouble and expense of transfer; but if they are for the war or have some time to serve, they would be useful to General Heth.
There are three Tennessee regiments in the army of General Joseph E. Johnston whose term of service will expire in May, and their officers state that the men would re-enlist for the war if permitted to return to Tennessee.
These regiments cannot now be spared unless their places could be supplied at once. You will decide whether you can send on the troops in your army for the purpose of making the exchange, and if you can