Reports of Major General David S. Stanley, U. S. Army, Chief of Cavalry, Army of the Cumberland.
HEADQUARTERS CHIEF OF CAVALRY, Near Winston's, Ala., September 6, 1863-10 p.m.
GENERAL: Yesterday Crook, went into the Broomtown Valley, sixteen miles east of this. He found the enemy at the descent of the mountain, chopping or commencing to cut timber into the road. He followed the rebels into the valley; they fled in all directions south. Five miles from this, McCook's scouts crossed at Davis' Gap, found the pickets at the descent of the mountains, drove them within 6 miles of Alpine, capturing a sergeant and 10 men of the Fourth Georgia, Crews' brigade. Five regiments of cavalry are at Alpine. The prisoners say that a large force of cavalry is at La Fayette, with artillery. Wharton's division is picketing between this and Rome. The road by Winston's Gap is the best to Rome. Eleven miles from Rawlingsville, at a little place called Porterville, a road crosses the mountains. From Porterville to Rome is about 40 miles, a good road and a very little mountain. By this road it is about 20 miles farther to Rome than by the Winston's Gap road.
I send you a sketch* of the vicinity by Greenwood and the road across the mountains by Crook's.
The prisoners say they are told that Johnston is at Chattanooga and that his force is all expected. A citizen, who is reliable, says that citizens he could wouch for had been to Chattanooga to learn, and came back with the story that Bragg is ordered to retreat. I give this for what it is worth. We will try and prevent this, blocking the descent from the mountains. Our supply trains have been sadly delayed, having had to fall in behind the trains of McCook.
We are anxious to hear from you.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. S. STANLEY,
Major-General, and Chief of Cavalry.
Brig. General JAMES A. GARFIELD,
Chief of Staff.
HDQRS. CHIEF OF CAVALRY, DEPT. OF THE CUMBERLAND, Henderson's Gap, near Dorsey's Tan-yard, September 9, 1863-6.30 p.m.
GENERAL: I received your dispatch directing me to make a reconnaissance to Summerville, and another by the route General Crook crossed the mountain. At the time I received the dispatch we were near the barricade the enemy had thrown across the gap. We here first struck their pickets and continued to fight them back through Alpine, where they took the Rome road, some going on the Blue Pond road.
We took about a dozen prisoners. They all say there is infantry at Summerville. One man says it is Johnston's old division of the Virginia army; another, that it is a part of Polk's corps.
I send you the dispatches taken from one of Wheeler's couriers.