place. I afterward received the general's orders, sent by Lieutenant Taylor, signal corps, and have communicated them to Generals Rousseau, Negley, and Colonel Walker. They are being executed now, and will be completed this afternoon. A negro has just come in from Murfreesborough. He thinks they are leaving there. He saw two batteries leave yesterday. He reports Wheeler, with a small force of cavalry, on the direct road from this place to Murfreesborough. Colonel Zahm entered Franklin yesterday, and drove their pickets from that place, killing 4. He has gone to-day toward Petersburg, to observe. Will leave his pickets there to-night, and come to this place with his main force. I shall march to-morrow morning over to Stewartsborough with my forces, unless otherwise ordered.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS FOURTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Camp on Murfreesborough Pike, December 27, 1862-9 p.m.
Major-General GEORGE H. THOMAS,
GENERAL: Your dispatch of yesterday's date was received not long since. We have news from Crittenden up to 5 p.m. The enemy attempted to burn the bridge over Stewart's Creek, but the Third Kentucky, pressing forward, extinguished the fire, and we now hold the bridge. Negley was up, encamped on Crittenden's right. He reports the road across from Nolensville as intolerably bad. Crittenden's loss was 6 or 7 killed, 30 wounded, and he took 25 prisoners. McCook, you know, holds Triune, and is pursuing Hardee with one division. Before moving down on Murfreesborough, the general wishes to know something more certain of Hardee's movements, and to have a portion of McCook's corps closing in toward the left. The general thinks you had better make an effort to secure forage for your animals to-morrow, after which you can send down your empty wagons to Nashville to be loaded, and await their turn to come up, Mitchell having been ordered to send forward to-morrow the supply trains which your command left loaded in Nashville. Morgan, we hear, attacked Munfordville, and was repulsed. Has Colonel Innes [made] any progress in repairing the bridge across Mill Creek, near Antioch Church?
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. P. GARESCHE,
Assistant Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff.
HDQRS. OF THE ARMY, ADJT. GEN.'S OFFICE,
No. 416. Washington, December 27, 1862.
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IV. Brig. General W. S. Smith, U. S. Volunteers, is relieved from duty with the command of Major-General Rosecrans, and will report for duty to Major-General U. S. Grant, U. S. Volunteers, La Grange, Tenn.
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By command of Major-General Halleck:
E. D. TOWNSEND,