HEADQUARTERS, Decherd, August 29, 1862.
Colonel LYTLE, Huntsville:
Send by trains to-morrow the convalescents and rations, and have Tenth Wisconsin picked up. Abandon and destroy what you cannot bring away, and march with your command on the 31st, day after to-morrow.
JAMES B. FRY.
FOOT OF MOUNTAIN, August 29, 1862-6.45 a.m.
I just received the above [following] by messenger from General Sill. Am moving forward with my other two brigades. Nothing more of interest.
ALTAMONT, August 28, 1862-11 p.m.
Major Hill about 6 miles from here encountered four of the enemy's pickets; they fired and fled. He then raised a flag of truce, and about 11 miles from here was met by four companies of Starnes' cavalry. Major Hill conversed with a Captain Harris and three or four other officers. Major Hill gathered from the interview that their camp is on the mountain and about 15 miles from here, and that Major General Samuel Jones is now at Shell Mound. They refused to allow Major Hill to proceed farther.
From conversations with people on the road Major Hill believes that about a division is still in the Sequatchie Valley near the Therman road, and that the rest have taken a course more to the north. Major Hill reports that he saw working parties of citizens engaged in putting the Therman road in good order. He was informed that two deserters from Schoepf's command reached the enemy's camp, where some general officer commands. This was early this morning, and of course they could have known nothing of my movements.
J. W. SILL,
ALTAMONT, August 29, 1862-12 m.
My command is here. It will be impossible for my division to camp here-neither water no forage. The country is a desert and stripped of everything. We captured three of Bragg's body guard. They were with an engineer officer reconnoitering.
The Anderson road is completed. The prisoners say that there is no infantry force in the Sequatchie Valley. Major Hill, bearer of flag of truce, says he is certain they have a force in the Sequatchie Valley.
If I do not hear from you before morning I will send my train down the mountain by the Hickory Creek road and stay here as long as possible to live. I can find a good camp 9 miles from here in the valley. My half rations expire on the 31st instant. I must get some somewhere.