and to ascertain the whereabouts and movements of the enemy about Murfreesborough; to report everything deemed important as soon as ascertained.
I learn to-day that some Federals are on this side of Harpeth River, about 3 miles below College Grove, foraging, but have not learned their strength or position. Citizens say they were foraging for camps at Triune. Will endeavor to learn more about them.
P. D. RODDEY,
CHAPEL HILL, March 18, 1863-11.30 p. m.
General POLK, Shelbyville, Tenn.:
GENERAL: No news from my scouts toward Versailles and Murfreesborough. Colonel [J.] Patterson, with four companies from his regiment, and Major Johnson, with five companies from mine, have gone to College Grove to-night to support a party sent out by General Wharton. Will send another courier if any news from the front comes in.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. D. RODDEY,
HEADQUARTERS WHARTON'S CAVALRY, Unionville, March 18, 1863-7 p. m.
Lieutenant General LEONIDAS POLK,
Commanding at Shelbyville:
GENERAL: Your dispatch just received.* I have no guides who know the country. Colonel Roddey has been in his present position six weeks, and ought to know the country now. My scouts are just in. The enemy are still encamped at the junction of this and the College Grove pike. Another scout met a regiment of Federal cavalry to-day about 12 m., 1 mile this side of Salem. As yet I can see nothing which induces me to believe the enemy are evacuating Murfreesborough. Scouts are ordered for to-morrow, and, should they discover a retrograde meeting [movement?], the enemy will be pressed. Please let me [know] to-night why you think the enemy are leaving Murfreesborough. A dispatch from Colonel [J. R.] Butler, stationed at Beech Grove, advises me that the enemy attacked his pickets 3 miles out on the Bradyville road to-day. He would dispatch me again as soon as the movement was developed. I send you two late papers.
Most respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
JNO. A. WHARTON,
TULLAHOMA, March 19, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War, Richmond:
On account of Mrs. Bragg's critical condition, I shall not now give the order for which I came. The country is becoming practicable. Should the enemy advance, General Bragg will be indispensable here.
J. E. JOHNSTON,
*See Polk to Martin, p. 707.