sent another dispatch to Major-General Stanley, stating that I did not dare to cross the river. Fearing that the enemy would send across Shallow Ford a strong force to outflank us, I ordered Colonel Long to fall back to the second house, thus taking position about three-quarters of a mile from the ford.
We waited in position until 2 p. m., and having no forage for the horses, and the men being fatigued, I issued orders to move some miles toward Hillsborough and to feed, before the execution of which General Stanley arrived. Some time passed before the cavalry column closed. General Mitchell's division was directed to cross the river at Shallow Ford, and my division at Morris' Ford. My First Brigade being in the rear of General Mitchell's division, Colonel Long was ordered to ascertain if the opposite shore was occupied by the enemy, and, finding that they had retreated, his command commenced to ford the river. In the mean time the First Brigade came up, and the Seventh Pennsylvania cavalry commenced crossing the river also. Colonel Long moved forward with the same twelve companies, forming them on the right and left of the road, and soon engaged the rebel cavalry. Brisk skirmishing commenced, and the farther we advanced the more stubborn was the resistance of the enemy. When about 3 miles from the ford, the rebels had probably four regiments engaged. At this time General Mitchell's division crossed the river and advanced on our left. It became dark. The action was stopped, and the troops encamped back nearer to the ford. After we crossed the river it was ascertained that the rebel General Stewart's division of infantry, with its artillery, and the whole of General Stewart's division of infantry, with its artillery, and the whole of General Wheeler's cavalry, were posted near the ford. After our skirmishing, the infantry retreated at 12 m., and the cavalry some time in the afternoon. Morris' Ford and the road to Decherd was the sore place in the disposition of the enemy. After the rebel army retreated from Tullahoma and crossed Elk River, the most vulnerable point for them was at Morris' Ford, and they threw out the whole of their cavalry and one division of infantry at that ford to prevent a flank movement on our side against their columns retreating to Cowan. If at the time my force moved to Morris' Ford, General Crittenden's corps had moved also to Elk River, crossing it and engaging the enemy at the ford, wile Generals Negley's and Rousseau's divisions, which were 4 1\2 miles below, crossed the river also and moved on Decherd, and our whole cavalry force added to these divisions afterward, the rebel army could have been greatly damaged, and the battles the most important and the most decisive in the annals of military history. The most advantageous ground for all kinds of arms was on the rebel side. For 3 miles from the ford all the fences were laid down, showing that the rebels understood the importance of the position, and did not neglect anything in their preparations to fight us.
We killed several rebels at the ford. Five bodies were found in one place, almost in a pile; about 20 of them were buried afterward. Two rebel captains killed were reported found in the woods, with some other bodies. We could not ascertain how many of them were wounded. The rebel Colonel [James D.] Webb, commanding cavalry regiment, was mortally wounded and has since died.
We lost 2 men, mortally wounded; 2 officers and 6 men wounded.
I particularly recommend to the attention of the general commanding. Colonel Long, commanding Second Brigade, for his gallant conduct at the ford and on the other side of the river, directing the movements of his command with great coolness and bravery; Captain James H. Stokes,