best. Keep yourself in constant communication with the telegraph in Athens. General Crittenden's division encamps about 4 1/2 miles from Athens on the Huntsville road. Send two battalions of your cavalry to escort the wagon trains between Reynolds' Station and Athens.
One battalion should go up with the first train sent by Captain Gaugert and the others be in readiness to go up when called for. They will report to Colonel McCook, Second Indiana Cavalry, at Reynolds' Station, and he will send them back in their turn.
Colonel Norton, commanding in Athens, will give orders for their departure from Athens.
By command of Major-General Buell:
[J. M. WRIGHT,]
CUMBERLAND GAP, June 27, 1862.
Colonel J. B. FRY:
A yellow boy of remarkable intelligence, the servant of Colonel Beck, of the Twenty-third Alabama Regiment, has come in. He abandoned Colonel Beck beyond Tazewell. He represents the forces of the enemy at the time of my advance to be as follows: Stevenson's command at the Gap, composed of from 5,000 to 6,000 infantry and twenty-seven pieces of cannon and one battalion of cavalry; the brigades of Barton and Taylor, composed of seven regiments of infantry, one of cavalry, and ten pieces of artillery. This force was on its way to Chattanooga, but was recalled on its arriving at Loudon. It was in the big valley immediately south of Powell's River, and about 6 or 8 miles on my right flank; and General Smith advanced from Knoxville with 8,000 men toward Tazewell. He confirms the rumor that the enemy is beyond Clinch River with a contracted force of 20,000 soldiers; but he greatly overestimates the aggregate force of the enemy in East Tennessee, which he places at 70,000 men. He further states that additional forces are expected from the direction of Chattanooga. The Loudon Bridge was not burned; it was protected by two regiment.
GEORGE W. MORGAN,
CUMBERLAND GAP, June 27, 1862-10.45 a.m.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:
Has the engineer officer left Washington for this post? I do not wish to commence any defenses until he arrives. The enemy is said to have 20,000 men concentrated beyond Clinch River. He is fortifying. Notwithstanding these rumors I am satisfied that his position is in the Clinch Mountains and not at the river.
GEORGE W. MORGAN,
Brigadier-General, Post Commander.
WAR DEPARTMENT, June 28, 1862. (Received June 30-9.30 p.m.)
The enemy have concentrated in such force at Richmond as to render