must enforce the order for half rations and get besides all you can from the country.
Two operators on their way to join you.
JAMES B. FRY,
Colonel and Chief of Staff.
McMINNVILLE, August 27, 1862.
Major-General BUELL, Decherd:
GENERAL: I send you a letter, brought in last night by one of our soldiers, who was captured at Sparta on last Friday. He says he picked Captain McMillin's pocked and found the letter, and soon after made his escape. You will see by the letter that Bragg intends to march on Murfreesborough or they believe he intends to do so. I have no idea who the two generals are unless they are Morgan and Forrest. The soldier says there are none of the enemy's troops near Sparta that he could hear of except McMillin's company. I heard a rumor yesterday that the Fourth Division train had been captured on its way to Murfreesborough and that Forrest was at Woodbury with 2,000 men. I sent last night to find out if there was any foundation for the report. If it be so I shall endeavor to capture him. It will be necessary for me to fall back toward Murfreesborough for a few days to get subsistence, unless I learn to-day that there is no enemy on the road and that the trains can come out from Murfreesborough with safety.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.
CAMP NEAR SPARTA, TENN.,
August 25, 1862.
Miss MATT. LESLIE:
DEAR COUSIN: I have an opportunity to drop you a few lines by a prisoner that I caught near Sparta 22nd ultimo. I have no news of importance to send you. I am well and have been since I left Glasgow, with the exception of a few days after getting back. The trip we took through Kentucky was a very fatiguing one and attended with some difficulty, though I assure you was not entirely destitute of pleasant hours, for everywhere we went we found friends, who, regardless of the threats and menaces of General Boyle, received us with the greatest cordiality and hospitality you could imagine. Our army is at present on the move and you need not be surprised at any time to hear of us in Kentucky.
The raids you have heard of lately in Kentucky I hope will soon be backed by a force of infantry. I suppose you have heard are this that E. Kirby Smith is in Kentucky with a large force and the enemy have fallen back from Cumberland Gap, which I guess is a wise thing, for if they had only fallen back a few hours later General Smith would have surely caught them.
There is a large fight expected to come off near Culpeper Court-House, Va., between the forces of Generals Jackson and Pope.
The Yankees are occupying Sparta at present, having moved up last night. We have two generals in the neighborhood looking out and reconnoitering, but who they are I am not at liberty to tell.
28 R R-VOL XVI, PT II