Seventy-second Indiana, moved out the Rome road to the Big Spring Farm, and encamped for the night. The Seventy-second Indiana, Major Carr, took the Hartsville road, leaving it at a point 9 miles out, crossing over through Taylorsville (where, having no transportation, he destroyed a large quantity of wheat and bacon, collected for the enemy) to Big Spring Farm, and camped. Near Taylorsville he was attacked by a small force of the enemy, who succeeded in taking 2 of his men. He returned their fire, with what effect is not known, but drove them away. It being dark, pursuit was useless. The two men were inhumanly butchered by their captors the next day, near Lebanon. Their names are known, and will be reported in another communication.
On the morning of the 4th instant, the command moved on to Rome. I there took the Seventeenth Indiana, and went on to Carthage, where I procured supplies, and turned over to the provost-marshall 30 prisoners, a lot of goods taken from a contraband trader direct from McMinnville, and three wagon-loads of manufactured tobacco, the latter being part of a lot seized by my order on the road from Big Spring to Rome. I had received information from several sources that the owners had disposed of it to the Confederate Government, and had received pay therefor; also that they were noisy and violent secessionists. This proves to have been a mistake, so far, at least, as one of the firm is concerned, Mr. Fuqua. I had distributed about one-third of the lot to the command. Mr. Fuqua's claim will doubtless be presented for adjudication.
On the morning of the 5th, the infantry and battery came up from Rome to Carthage, the Ninety-eighth Illinois and Seventy-second Indiana scouting the country for stock. The next day, the 6th instant, both commands moved to New Middleton, where rations were distributed. All the animals and prisoners turned over to the infantry, which marched to Alexandria, the mounted force, with a section of Lilly's battery and two howitzers, moving up Caney Fork, where we destroyed a large quantity of wheat and flour collected for the enemy, and rendered the mill unfit for further use, cutting off this source of supplies.
Tuesday, 7th instant, we started for Liberty, where we had information of the arrival of General Wharton's brigade the night previous. I took the Ninety-eight Illinois and Seventy-second Indiana, and went forward, sending orders to the Seventeenth Indiana (some distance to the rear and unavoidably detained) to come up with dispatch, and to take the road to and over Snow Hill, and to the rear of the [enemy], guided by Captain [Joseph H.] Blackburn, of Stokes' cavalry, who knew the country perfectly. The enemy, having learned of our coming, fled before the movement could be executed to cut off their retreat. All escaped us but one company of 39 men, commanded by a lieutenant, who were taken. In the mean time I had communicated with Colonel Monroe, at Alexandria, directing him to move up to Liberty with his command, which he did with alacrity, skirmishing occasionally with small parties of the enemy, and driving them in so that they fell into our hands. We pursued the enemy over and beyond Snow Hill, but failed to overtake him. We again went into camp. While foraging in the evening, Major Carr, Seventy-second Indiana, surprised and captured a party of 10 rebels, and brought them into camp. We also found in the town a small mail, already sent to your headquarters.
The morning of the 8th, having our hand full of animals, prisoners, and negroes, it was deemed best to return to Murfreesborough, to shoe our horses and rest the command, where we await your further orders.