Mitchellsville, December 20, 1862.
We are ordered by General Granger to fall back on Bowling Green or Buck Lodge. We have excellent fortifications here, and, if the regiment at Buck Lodge was ordered here, we could resist 5,000 infantry or cavalry. Can you send us re-enforcements?
G. P. SMITH,
Colonel, Commanding Post.
HEADQUARTERS FOURTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Nashville, December 20, 1862.
Colonel G. P. SMITH,
General commanding says Mitchellsville is of minor importance. You had better fall back on Buck Lodge.
J. P. GARESCHE,
Assistant Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff.
GALLATIN, December 20, 1862.
Colonel J. P. GARESCHE,
Chief of Staff:
One of my scouts reports meeting Mrs. B. F. Smith, wife of scout now in Nashville. She came through Hartsville yesterday evening; no enemy there. Passed through Rome the day before; no enemy there or in the neighborhood. About 200 at Alexandria. Left the neighborhood of McMinnville last Wednesday; none there but conscripts. Two weeks since was within 5 miles of Murfreesborough; large body there, waiting an attack. Soldiers and citizens say they will not advance this way in large force. All along the route people were preparing for the Yankees, praying for them to come quickly and save them from the conscript law. I send the two Mrs. Smiths to Nashville, who will give you all the information. Colonel hall reports this morning that he saw signal lights on the hill beyond Hartsville at 3 o'clock this morning. General Reynolds sent out a cavalry reconnaissance this morning. They have not returned. Lieutenant-Colonel Riley sent out cavalry pickets yesterday afternoon toward Lebanon. They went within 3 or 4 miles of Lebanon. Encountered no rebel pickets or scouts. Saw a white man and negro, both of whom told the same story, that there was some infantry in Lebanon, and they supposed about 400 or 500 cavalry there the day before. The infantry fell back the same evening. They did not know what became of the cavalry.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
NASHVILLE, December 20, 1862.
General Stanley reports Colonel Minty, who commanded the cavalry reconnaissance, has returned. He went beyond Rural Hill; saw only running scouts. Kirby Smith's forces were at Lebanon three days ago, but have moved back. The scouts did not get to the pike. Get scouts out in all directions, and find where they crossed, and telegraph in.
Second Lieutenant Sixth Infantry, Aide-de-Camp.