HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE,
Murfreesborough, Tenn., December 16, 1862.
Major-General W. S. ROSECRANS,
Commanding United States Forces, Nashville, Tenn.:
GENERAL: I am in receipt of your communication of the 13th instant, in regard to the capture of three of your vedettes under circumstances apparently implying disrespect to the flag sent by you. Prior to the receipt, of your letter, I had ordered an investigation of the case. From the report now before me, I am satisfied, and desire to assure you, that the party effecting the capture was wholly unaware that a flag had passed, and was acting under orders issued the day previous. It had left La Vergne at 8 o'clock on the morning of the 13th, and pursued a circuitous route, coming upon the vedettes after the passage of the flag. I take pleasure in informing you that I have ordered the men to be returned to your lines, together with their equipments, arms, &c.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES FORCES,
Russellville, Ky., December 16, 1862
Asst. Adjt. General Dept. of the Cumberland, Nashville, Tenn.:
COLONEL: Since my last communication my cavalry and some few citizen scouts have been actively engaged scouting the country on the line of the Cumberland. Captain Johnson, on his return from his scout to Clarksville on the 10th, reported Forrest, Woodward, and Triplett at Charlotte with 3,000 men, preparing for an expedition into Southern Kentucky (Union County, as believed), for the purpose of driving out hogs and cattle. He also reported that Woodward's men had all deserted, except 120,on account of being required to swear in for three years, and that Forrest had taken from them their horses arms. This we have found to be measurably true from statements of a few of Woodward's men, who have since then been captured. The enemy, however, seemed to have abandoned their expedition in Kentucky, being (so report of scouts say) at a loss to understand the movements of the troops on this side of the river. Certainly there is no organized body of the enemy near me. A few scattering squads are roaming through the country, stealing and robbing when they get a chance. I have made every possible effort to detect any design that might be behind the movement of Woodward's men. Their movements are certainly mysterious, and their stories unreasonable, but it is my decided opinion that their statement as to the disbandment of the regiment is true. About 140 enlisted for three years; the remainder have come home, some to renew their allegiance, if allowed,and others to renew their cowardly system of guerrilla warfare. I am sparing no efforts to capture them, but as yet have only taken a few. Captain Johnson, of the Eighth Kentucky Cavalry, at Hopkinsville, reports a part of Forrest's forces at Waverly, Tenn., last Saturday, but says that they have been foiled in their intentions by the apparent co-operation of Colonel Lowe's forces, at Fort Donelson, with mine. Captain Morrow, of the Eighth Cavalry, left Clarksville last Sunday with 80 men in the direction of Palmyra, with orders to proceed cautiously down the river and ascertain, if possible the position and strength of any forces that might attempt to cross the river. I have