War of the Rebellion: Serial 051 Page 0586 KY., SW. VA.,TENN., MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA.

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[CHAP. XLII.

I think my brigade is in rather an exposed situation should an extensive raid be made into this section of the country, which I am reliably informed will soon take place. If you would permit me to organize six and twelve months' men in this section of the county, I could have 2,000 men in the field in a short time. Will you permit me to organize troops for that length of time? If so, please send me arms, accouterments, and ammunition at once, and I will soon organize a force sufficient to protect this section of the country. Will you also please send me a mustering officer to muster in the First East Tennessee Regiment?

Respectfully, &c.,

R. K. BYRD,

Colonel, Commanding.

Lieutenant Colonel LEWIS RICHMOND,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

[HDQRS. FIRST Brigadier FOURTH DIV., 23rd ARMY CORPS,]

Calhoun, September 24, 1863.

SIR: Our scouts went on the Cleveland road 5 miles from here, and found a body of the enemy on the road. Our men drove them some distance, when they were re-enforced, and drove our men back near town, when the enemy again fell back to within 3 miles of this place. This is the last I have heard of them. On the Dalton road our scouts drove a body of the enemy some distance, when they were re-enforced, and brought up three pieces of artillery against them, and there was quite a brisk firing going on at last reports. All my men are in position to resist an attack by the enemy.

R. K. BYRD,

Colonel, Commanding.

General BURNSIDE.

ATHENS, [TENN.,] September 26, 1863-6 p.m.

SIR: I have fallen back near Athens,where I was re-enforced by Colonel Wolford.

I think the enemy are in superior numbers, and, from the lay of the country and number of roads, can flank us at almost [any] point.

I have checked them with the assistance of Colonel Wolford, and the firing has ceased.

There is no doubt but their force is far superior to ours.

R. K. BYRD,

Colonel, &c.

General BURNSIDE.

ATHENS, [TENN.,] September 26, 1863.

SIR: After all firing had ceased, I supposed that the enemy had fallen back. we then moved up to what we supposed a better position, half mile out of Athens, when the enemy commenced pursuing again, and they are now trying to flank us on both sides.

Think we will have to fall back upon Loudon.

R. K. BYRD,

Colonel, Commanding.

General BURNSIDE.