MANCHESTER, July 27, 1862.
Colonel J. B. FRY:
The bridge defenses are complete except at Elk River, where Captain Morton has planned works so extensive as to require several days yet for completion. We are at work diligently upon them. The Eighteenth Ohio is stationed as directed in your order. Four companies of the Twenty-fourth Illinois are at Elk River and six at Duck River and at the small bridges between there and Wartrace. The circumstances existing here seem to render that the most judicious disposition of these forces for the present, and while other forces are stationed on the line as they now are I will folow the movement of other troops in the stationing of mine.
Forrest appeared before me this morning and made a successful dash upon one of my reconnoitering parties, killing 3 and capturing 15 men. He was apparently withdrawn in the direction of McMinnville. I sent out a strong detachment a short distance to the front to ascertain his whereabouts. We must concentrate a cavalry force sufficient to chase him down before we can get rid of him. Will I be relieved by General Wood? If so, when? I have the flour all safely stored in the depot.
W. S. SMITH,
FLORENCE, ALA., July 27, 1862.
Major General D. C. BUELL:
Telegram to General Morgan received and forwarded. The attack on the guards at Courtland delayed me one day, but shall be able to get the troops across to-day and start to-morrow for Athens. Two battalions First Ohio Cavalry are here and one company at Decatur for duty.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Tuscumbia, Ala., July 27, 1862.
General GEORGE H. THOMAS, Florence, Ala.:
GENERAL: Yours of this date, together with letter of General Buell, just received. I have received information this morning that part of the infantry at Courtland were captured. The road will be open to Courtland to-day. Expect to have two regiments of infantry and one of cavalry at that point to-day.
The Third Michigan Cavalry had a skirmish east of Leighton yesterday. Every effort will be made to open the road to Decatur. If the road is safe east of Courtland it will take but a short time to repair the damage done at the latter place.
I have issued orders this morning to Colonel Harrington to move forward with the troops under his command promptly and occupy the points designated to him as far as Decatur. I think I have force sufficient to hold the road.
This communication will answer as well for reply to General Buell.
The boat will be secured as suggested.
JAMES D. MORGAN,
Brigadier-General, Commanding First Division.