On the 3rd of February, Generals Wheeler, Forrest, and Wharton invested Fort Donelson, and demanded its capitulation. This was promptly refused by its commander, Colonel Harding. After an obstinate attack, which lasted all day, the rebels retired, with an estimated loss of 900. Our loss in the fort was 13 killed and 51 wounded.
On the 4th of March, Colonel Coburn, with 1,845 men, attempted a reconnaissance from Franklin toward Springfield, encountering in his way Van Dorn's rebel column, estimated at 7,500. The enemy retreated, drawing Colonel Coburn into a gorge, where he was surrounded, and nearly all his force captured. Our loss was 1,406; that of the enemy 150 killed and 450 wounded.
On the 20th of March, Colonel Hall, while on a reconnaissance, encountered and defeated the rebel General Morgan with a force of 3,000 or 4,000. Our loss was 55. The enemy left 63 on the field, but carried off his wounded, estimated at 300.
On the 25th of March, the rebel General Forrest made a cavalry raid on the Nashville and Columbia Railroad, burning the bridge, and capturing Colonel Bloodgood's command at Brentwood. General Green Clay Smith, arriving opportunely with about 600 cavalry, attacked the enemy in rear, and recovered a large portion of the property captured at Brentwood, pursuing the rebels to the Little Harpeth, where they were re-enforced. His loss in this attack was 4 killed, 10 wounded, and 4 missing.
On the 10th of April, a guerilla force attacked a train near La Vergne, guarded by 40 men. The cars were destroyed, and nearly half of the guard killed and wounded. At the same time Van Dorn, with a large mounted force, attacked Franklin, but was repulsed by Major-General Granger, with a loss of 19 killed, 35 wounded left on the field, and 48 prisoners.
Major General Joseph J. Reynolds made a rad upon the Manchester and McMinnville railroad, destroying depots, rolling stock, supplies, and other property, and capturing 180 prisoners.
Colonel Streight, with about 1,600 men, including re-enforcements received from General Dodge at Tuscumbia, started on a raid into Georgia, to cut the enemy's communications. After heavy losses in skirmishes with Forrest's cavalry, and when near his destination, he was forced to surrender.
On the 22nd of May, Major-General Stanley made a raid upon Middleton, capturing 80 prisoners, 300 horses, 600 stand of arms, and other property.
On the 4th of June, the rebel General Forrest made a raid upon Franklin, and on the 11th attacked Triune. His losses in these unsuccessful skirmishes were estimated at over 100, while ours were only 17 killed and wounded.
While General Grant was operating before Vicksburg, information, deemed reliable, was received from captured rebel official correspondence that large detachments were being drawn from Bragg's army to re-enforce Johnston in Mississippi. Re-enforcements were sent to General Grant from other armies in the West, but General Rosecrans' army was left intact, in order that he might take advantage of Bragg's diminished numbers and drive him back into Georgia, and thus rescue loyal East Tennessee from the hands of the rebels, an object which the Government has kept constantly in view from the beginning of the war. I therefore urged General Rosecrans to take advantage of this opportunity to carry out his long-projected movement, informing him that General Burnside would co-operate with his force, moving from Kentucky