War of the Rebellion: Serial 023 Page 0263 Chapter XXVIII. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-UNION.

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TULLAHOMA, August 4, 1862.

Colonel J. B. FRY:

I sent Nelson's dispatches by two parties, sending them by different routes. Have we any troops at Altamont or any reconnoitering parties watching the mountain roads? I have sent a spy to watch the roads leading from Chattanooga to McMinnville and Hubbard's Cove, near Hillsborough. The latter is the road that Negley passed to Chattanooga. I have at Manchester the Seventy-ninth Pennsylvania, a battalion of the Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, and a section of Hewett's battery. Had I not better bring the flour and troops, except a bridge guard, to this point? I can do so in one or two days.

SMITH,

General.

DECHERD, August 4,[1862].

Colonel J. B. FRY, Assistant Adjutant-General:

Without any information whatever of the extent of the force which it is proposed to leave at either Elk River or Decherd it is somewhat difficult to give an opinion as to the relative merits of the two. Either would have to be strengthened by works to make them secure. Elk River has some stronger points than Decherd, but if these were not well guarded they might become rather a means of weakness than strength. By defensive works and determined troops to hold them either might be made a secure place for a depot against a mere raid or sudden attack. In regard to facilities for protecting supplies Decherd is altogether the better place. There are buildings here near the depot (which is itself a strong brick building) in which stores can be stored; there are none at Elk River. There are also side tracks and other facilities here with do not exist at Elk River. With the small information I have as to the amount of the garrison to be left at either place and all things considered for immediate use I think Decherd the better place for a large depot.

While I was absent at Elk River yesterday afternoon a train arrived and discharged 150,000 rations here.

TH. J. WOOD,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS, Huntsville, August 5, 1862.

J. B. ANDERSON, Nashville:

The Elk River Bridge, on the Chattanooga road, is reported to be in a critical situation, requiring work.

D. C. BUELL.

HEADQUARTERS, Huntsville, August 5, 1862.

J. B. ANDERSON, Nashville:

The general wants a designation of all bridges which could, if destroyed, be repaired in twenty-four hours, with a view to arranging the guards. Give me the information as far as you have it or can get it.

JAMES B. FRY.