as far as Spring Hill, and send out a party from there toward Columbia and one through to Raleigh Springs, on the Lewisburg pike, where a cavalry force from Murfreesborough will communicate with it on the ensuing day.
VII. Colonel [A. P.] Campbell will furnish the cavalry from the three regiments. Colonel [O. H.] Payne, One hundred and twenty-fourth Ohio, with his regiment, will report to Colonel Coburn, to accompany this command. Four days' rations will be taken, two in the haversacks and two in the wagons.
A forage train of 80 wagons will accompany the expedition. Only 4 wagons to the regiment and 2 to the battery will be allowed.
By order of Brigadier-General Gilbert:
GEO. K. SPEED,
Lieutenant and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
[Inclosure Numbers 3.]
HEADQUARTERS, &C., [March --, 1863.]
You were not informed by the messenger that the rebels had artillery. We could [not] tell how much. They fired shell, I think, from Parrott guns. We have no means of ascertaining exactly their artillery force. I think it is unsafe, for the teams at least. It is so long and requires so much force to watch it. One of our cannon is disabled-the axle broken.
[Inclosure Numbers 4.]
HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, THIRD DIVISION, Three and a half miles out,
We are on the Columbia road, and have repulsed a force of about 2,000 to 3,000 rebel cavalry. They have disappeared in front and are now flanking us on our left-that is, on the Lewisburg pike. They are now nearer than we are to Franklin. What shall we do? I think we can advance, but there will be at once a force in our rear.
[Inclosure Numbers 5.]
HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, March 4, 1863-7.30 p. m.
Lieutenant SPEED, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General:
We are in camp about 4 miles from town. The detached forces not having all yet come in, we moved only a short distance forward. A rebel force, variously estimated at 1,000 to 3,000, is on the Lewisburg pike 2 miles to our left. The Second Michigan Regiment, sent with us, is on that road yet. I have sent for them. I think it quite important that they be not allowed to go to our rear, but have not force enough to prevent it. I cannot afford to scatter 2 miles to the left or right with a doubtful prospect of success.
Before, on a hill and in a wood, we drove in the rebel pickets till sun-