War of the Rebellion: Serial 023 Page 0392 KY.,M. AND E. TENN.,N. ALA.,AND SW. VA. Chapter XXVIII.

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enemy will attempt the march across to McMinnville, at least not immediately. It appears to me that he will rather endeavor to get into North Alabama, and perhaps strike across to Decherd. If we advance to Altamont we may thwart him in both and preserve our communications with Decherd and Nashville. If we concentrate at McMinnville we lose North Alabama and Decherd. What think you? The great difficulty is in moving in the mountains with our trains. Of course we must cut loose from everything but our ammunition trains and subsistence for about six days, most of it in haversacks.

D. C. BUELL.

HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, ARMY OF THE OHIO, McMinnville, August 22, 1862.

Major-General BUELL, Decherd:

By all means concentrate here. The enemy cannot reach Nashville by any other route across the mountains unless by Sparta. At Altamont I am positively informed that the enemy would have an equal advantage with ourselves. Here we will have a most decided advantage, and by being here, should he march by Sparta, we can meet him either there or at Allen's Ford, across Caney Fork. He is obliged to pass this place or Sparta to reach Nashville. I have six days' rations and plenty of ammunition. Did you get my dispatch of to-day? I cannot think that Bragg is coming here either by the Hill of Therman road. My reconnoitering party went into Dunlap yesterday.

GEO. H. THOMAS,

Major-General, U. S. Volunteers.

McMINNVILLE, August 22, 1862.

General BUELL:

Scouting parties just in from Sequatchie Valley, Dunlap. No enemy there. A reconnoitering force at Dunlap on the 20th. No other forces about. The officers reports that no considerable force can march on that road. Has not heard of any force at Pikeville. Do not believe the enemy can reach this place by either the Hill or the Therman pike. Will send Wood to Sparta should you approve. I believe the enemy is moving toward Knoxville, and marching to subsist and watch.

GEO. H. THOMAS.

HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, ARMY OF THE OHIO, McMinnville, August 22, 1862.

General BUELL, Decherd:

We can get neither forage nor water at Altamont. It will be as difficult for us to march across the mountains to Sequatchie Valley as for the enemy to come either to Altamont or this place. I would not advise concentrating here except for battle or for an advance into East Tennessee. I think our connection with Nashville will be better preserved by holding Decherd with a division, to enable us to concentrate either there, if threatened, or at this place. I have also learned that Tupelo has been abandoned and most of the enemy at that place have