who, having been arrested by the Federals, have been released and sent here to endeavor to effect the release or exchange of the man Berry, sent to Knowxille a few days since, and another prisoner in confinement at this place. The persons examined state their belief that the main force of the enemy is at Crab Orchard, and that there are not more than three regiments (the Twelfth and Twenty-fourth Kentucky Infantry and the Forty-fourth Ohio Mounted Infantry) between Wild Cat and Williamsburg, about 500 of whom-detachments from each of the regiments-with a few mountain howitzers, are at the latter place, and from 500 to 1,000 at or this side of London.
One of these gentleman states that two weeks ago he had a conversation with a friend of his, a Mr. George Little, a lawyer of Williamsburg, formerly deputy marshal, &c., and who accompanied Carter on his late raid into East Tennessee. Little, who had just returned from the Federal forces, stated that they were about ready to move into East Tennessee, one portion, under General Carter, via one of the gaps north of Cumberland Gap, and the main portion, under Burnside, via Somerset, Ky., and Jamestown, Tenn.; that these movements were to be simultaneous with the battle to be fought by Rosecrans. My informant believes that Little really thought that the movement would be made as indicated, and that he (Little) had good opportunities for gaining information.
It is the opinion of all these persons from Williamsburg that the movements around that place are made to direct attention to Big. Creek and Cumberland Gaps, while the real movement is contemplated via Somerset, Ky., and Jamestown, Tenn., with intentions against East Tennessee or Tullahoma, most likely the former. They doubt the movement toward Southwestern Virginia, but seem confident that the movement toward Jamestown will be made.
A soldier of the Twelfth Kentucky has just been brought in. He states that he heard through a brother-in-law of his, a lieutenant in the same regiment, that there were 1,500 men at Somerset ten days since-probably an exaggeration. The statements of the persons from Whitley County are not, perhaps, perfectly reliable, but may be depended upon as their real impressions, founded upon observations of the enemy's movements and what they could learn from Union men.
J. G. PALMER,
Colonel, Commanding Fifth Brigade.
TULLAHOMA, May 4, 1863.
Brigadier-General MARTIN, Commanding Cavalry:
(Care Central Polk.)
On May 1, I wrote you as follows:
Major-General Wheeler has sent to you a brigade. On arriving, the general commanding wishes it posted at or near Colonel Roddey's former station, north of Duck River, and intermediate between your left and Van Dorn's right, say in the vicinity of Chapel Hill. This brigade he wishes to be kept in a body, ready to move at once to right or left or rear at the first notice of the enemy's movements.
If these dispositions have not been made, make them now. Did you receive my letter and make the dispositions? Answer.
W. W. MACKALL,
Chief of Staff.