I arrived at Hickman on board steamer Crawford about sunrise, and was informed that a party of rebels, estimated at 40 in number, were 6 miles distant. I immediately dispatched Captain Hanson with his command to look them up and follow as rapidly as possible, mounting about one-half the infantry on horses and mules picked up in the town and vicinity. Captain Hanson's movements were so rapid that I did not come up within him, he moving on Troy after finding that the rebels were said to be at place 200 strong. I immediately sent forward the mounted infantry to his support, the remainder following. Before reaching Troy, was advised by Captain Hanson that the rebels had left and were but 20 in number also that he would return to Hickman via Union City. Upon this I ordered the infantry back to Hickman, and awaited Captain Hansons's return, which occurred about sunset. Took steamer immediately, and returned to Columbus without casualty.
I deem it my duty to call attention of the general commanding the district to the fact that many of the loyal men of Hickman, and vicinity live in daily fear of their lives at the hands of roving bands of rebels, and spend their nights in the woods and places of concealment. They are very anxious for protection, which seems practicable.
Several loyal men were robbed of horses and arms on the 31st ultimo in that neighborhood. From the examination I made of the country and the extended scout of Captain Hanson without other results than here stated I think it safe to say that the country about Hickman cannot be protected from Columbus.
The activity of Captain Hanson and command and the energy and good judgment displayed by him deserve commendation. The infantry command did all that was possible most cheerfully. The heat of the day and the fatigues of the scout were borne without a murmur.
All of which is respectfully submitted by your obedient servant,
EDWIN. H. MIX.
T. H. HARRIS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Columbus, Ky.
AUGUST 4-5, 1863.-Reconnaissance to Rock Island Ferry, Tenn.
Report of Colonel Robert H. G. Minty, Fourth Michigan, Cavalry commanding First Brigade, Second Cavalry Division.
HDQRS. FIRST BRIGADE, SECOND CAVALRY DIVISION,
McMinnville, Tenn., August 5, 1863.
SIR: At 4 p. m. yesterday, the 4th instant, I marched with 1,096 men for the purpose of surprising the camp of Colonel Dibrell's regiment at Clark's Mill, 1 mile northwest from Sparta. The rebel pickets were known to be posted at Rock Island Ferry and at the ford at the month of Collins River. Scouts reported that there were no pickets at Dillon's Ford. I arrived at Mud Creek, 3 miles from the lower ferry at 9 p. m., and from thence detached Colonel Klein, with a battalion of the Third Indiana,with orders to cross at Dillon's move up to the cross-roads at J. Charles', and from there take the pickets at Rock Island and the lower ford in rear. I promised to meet him at the lower ford at 12 o'clock. Dillon's and the lower fords were represented to me as being practicable, in fact, good, whereas they were so impracticable that 5 men could hold either of them against any cavalry force that could be brought against