nel Harlan, may be able to give you much information. He tells me that he is just in from Chattanooga. I had no time to converse with him before the cars left. Will report more fully this evening.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
GALLATIN, TENN., December 11, 1862
Colonel J. P. GARESCHE, Chief of Staff:
Saw a citizen this morning from the neighborhood of New Middleton day before yesterday. He reports only a few scouts of the enemy in his neighborhood. Heard that Kirby Smith was expected at Lebanon. Only an advance guard of Morgan's cavalry there now. My scout, who came directly from Lebanon yesterday, reports no troops there, but Smith expected with 10,000 or 15,000 men. The scout who came in this noon reports a few of the enemy in Lebanon, but he did not go to Lebanon himself; makes the same report about Smith being expected there. Have several good scouts out now, and expect them back to-morrow. What two deserters say: Polk's, Withers' Cheatham's, and Breckinridge's divisions at Murfreesborough; estimate their force at 50,000 provisions short; flour and meat issued, but no salt; supply of clothing pretty good; boots and shoes short. No troops at Lebanon; troops expected there. Rebels well supplied with artillery; no siege guns. They think they have selected their ground between Murfreesborough and their pickets. Desertions frequent. Do not know of Bragg's where-abouts. Johnston expected there Sunday evening. No troops except conscripts and sick at Knoxville. Cars run out 5 miles toward Nashville. Heard an officer say they would fight at Murfreesborough, if the force brought against them was not too large. All disgusted with the Kentucky campaign. General Polk in a speech told his division that he had always been opposed to going into Kentucky; very much frightened after the battle at Perryville; suffered for provisions going out of the State. Went with teams from Knoxville to Sparta; roads good except crossing the mountains into Sequatchie Valley. All the men enlisted in Kentucky have deserted. This is the story of the deserters; very plausible. I send it for what it is worth.
GEO. H. THOMAS.
Major-General,, U. S. Volunteers.
HEADQUARTERS FOURTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Nashville, December 11, 1862
Major-General THOMAS, Gallatin;
Send them to Louisville, lest they be spies. State their case to General Boyle, that he may administer oath to other, if still willing. Pump them well before sending. Report soon whether Kirby Smith be at Lebanon; report also, in event of our fighting battle near Nolensville or at Stewart's Creek, and of Smith's moving to enemy's assistance, how soon, and with what force, or whether at all, you could either intercept him or come to our aid.
By command of Major-General Rosecrans:
J. P. GARESCHE,
Assistant Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff.