Buckner is coming from East Tennessee to join in invasion of Kentucky. Rebels report their forces at 16,000. Our scouts say they think there are not more than 10,000, but even this latter number is too great, unless there are more men with Morgan, Pegram, and Palmer than I stated above, which is possible, for if they intend to invade Kentucky they will not undertake it with a very small force; and they say they are coming for supplies and must have them. The river will soon be fordable. It can be crossed now at points, so they can concentrate at some place, and cross without much trouble. I will increase the guard and watch them closely.
O. B. WILLCOX,
MAY 18, 1863.
General CARTER, Somerset:
There is a division of our troops at Lancaster, under General Sturgis. In case of emergency this division can advance to support you. Should you be compelled to fall back, there is Hall's Gap, a better point than any for good position.
O. B. WILLCOX,
CORINTH, MISS., May 18, 1863.
General ROSECRANS, Murfreesborough:
Scouts in from south. Grant took Jackson Thursday. Johnston is in command of rebels. Heavy re-enforcements from Georgia and South Carolina and Port Hudson were arriving there daily. Rebel papers of 14th brought by scouts confirm all this, and acknowledge their defeat at Raymond and Bard Springs, within 8 miles of Jackson; also say large bodies of troops were moving to Johnston from Georgia and say Wood took him, with 800 men; that force from Atlanta and Dalton, amounting to 400, got in his front, but did not get into fight. I fully believe that Walker followed him with 1,500 men. The movement of troops from Georgia and South Carolina you may rely upon.
G. M. DODGE.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,
Cincinnati, Ohio, May 18, 1863.
I. The intention of that portion of General Orders, Numbers 66, from these headquarters, relating to the "removal of wives and families of persons in arms against the United States," being merely to remove from this department those persons who, from their intimate relations with the enemies of the Government, would be presumed to exercise an active sympathy with the rebellion, and would, therefore, be dangerous as residents, and as arbitrary arrests, or notices to remove under that order, might occasion suffering and injustice, it is hereby ordered that in all such cases the proper officer having cognizance of the facts will forward to these headquarters a written statement of the circumstances before he takes any further action.
II. As the experience of this department has shown that cases exist where the persons to whom General Orders, Numbers 66, refers, are, notwithstanding their close relationship to the enemies of the country, still loyal to the Government, and are willing to testify it by taking the oath of allegiance, such persons, when there is evidence of the honesty of the intention of the parties in taking the oath, will not be molested.