better, you would not ask for him. You will regret the application as long as you live; but if you say so, you shall have him.
H. W. HALLECK,
LA VERGNE, January 25, 1863-7 p. m.
GENERAL: I have just received your note.* I suppose you have received note, written by my aide, giving information last received in regard to the attack on the railroad trains.* It seems that they soon retired from the railroad. General Johnson's trains reached here about 12 o'clock, too late for me to obtain the co-operation of any troops with it. All the wagons were halted here and parked. About 2.30 o'clock I received such information as induced me to believe that the enemy would not to-day strike the pike, and, upon consultation with General Stanley, who was here, started trains ahead, adding to the escort one regiment of infantry and a gun. The regiment sent by me was ordered to go to the junction of Franklin and Lebanon roads with the Murfreesborough pike, there halt, and take position until the entire train passed. The trains did not have a brigade with them. At any rate, the largest number reported with them was 1,200 men; but the number with one train was reported to be about 250. The guard were ordered to get out of the wagons and march on foot to Mill Creek. No word having come back from the train, I presume that its safety is certain. In face of the number of the enemy, as first reported, I did not feel authorized to abandon this position and go out alone to hunt them, since a regiment would have to be left here to guard our camps, thus leaving me quite reduced in numbers for an attack. I thought that I could do the best service in protecting the trains which were supposed to be coming from Murfreesborough. I have, through negroes, some information tending to show that a part of Morgan's force, or some other rebel force, was at Buchanan's Mills, 8 or 9 miles from here, beyond Stone's River; reported strength, 1,000. I have sent a squad of cavalry in that direction to reconnoiter. The force of cavalry with me is but 75.
Since commencing above, a scout has come in, who reports Wheeler's force between Nolensville and Murfreesborough pike. He gets it from citizens, and believes it to the true. He says that it is somewhere near Concord Church, not far from Nolensville. Also that a body of 600 are at Battle's Mills, near Nolensville, about 8 or 9 miles from here. The information is not entirely reliable.
Some of our men, taken and paroled to-day, say that the rebels announced their purpose to take this place. Since I saw you at Murfreesborough we have been busily engaged in fortifying, and I feel confident in resisting any number who are likely to come. There ought to be here at once, I respectfully suggest, a cavalry force sufficient to attack and hold the enemy for a time, and strong enough to enable us to ascertain quickly the movements of the enemy.
Respectfully, in haste,
JOHN M. HARLAN,
Colonel, Commanding Post.
P. S.-General Stanley went down the road with train. Will return in a short while, when some plan of operations for to-morrow may be agreed upon.