Tuscumbia, May 30, 1862
Colonel W. B. RICHMOND,
Your note of this date has been received, and in reply I request you to inform Major-General Polk that my regiment reached this point about daylight. The work of cutting the timber and destroying the bridge commenced immediately and completed about 8 o'clock. The regiment is posted near the bridge, with pickets on the river to detect an advance by this road. I will move back a few hundred yards (keeping pickets on the river) to a point where a road leads to the right in a northwest direction.
I do not think the enemy can force a passage easily or get in my rear without moving from a point on the railroad near Chewalla. I directed Captain Saffarans to obstruct the upper crossing, but did not visit that point. I will send cavalry there when it arrives.
This route is obscure, but with labor the enemy could have passed the ford with cavalry or infantry.
Forage and subsistence must be drawn from the train on your route, as none can be obtained here, unless I should kill a beef from the pastures and get forage from the plantations near, which I shall do if the regular supply fails.
I am, colonel, very respectfully,,
JOHN H. SAVAGE.
Colonel, Sixteenth Tennessee Volunteers.
May 31, 1862-6.30 a.m.
GENERAL: I sent a courier to you last night with important information obtained from prisoners captured. The head of General Pope's column is in front of us say five regiments of cavalry, some infantry and artillery,and more coming up. The rumor is that the enemy are moving from Corinth in three columns-two west of this; but this is only rumored. Enemy in force before us this morning. Expect an attack every minute. We shall hold the place as long as we can; until night, if possible. The colonels cheerfully assume the task on their part. I have guarded my flanks as well as possible, yet fear the enemy may find some way to get to our rear. They might thus cut us off without chance of informing you. I ordered Colonel Biffle to send you two companies of cavalry yesterday. He is in rear of me, say at Rienzi, with six companies. I will him another order by bearer. We found 4 of the enemy dead in front last night and have 3 prisoners. I have given you all the information obtained from the prisoners.
B. R. JOHNSON,
Brigadier-General, Reserve Rear Guard
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE WEST,
May 31, 1862-9 a.m.
GENERAL: I take a left-hand road, about a mile this side of Booneville, and will cross the Twenty Mile Creek a mile or two east of Bald-