and three skiffs. The boat can transport 50 men at a trip, with 3 oarsmen.
The steamer Paint Rock was detained at the Such by breaking the capstan, on shore, from Saturday until Thursday, but succeeded in getting up.
Instructions from department headquarters of August 22 this moment received. Will use every effort to communicate with Colonel Wilder, and every assistance in my power will be rendered to him.
J. J. REYNOLDS.
All mounted men withheld from Wilder's command are ridden down. Could use Colonel Ray's cavalry to advantage in communicating with Wilder.
AUGUST 23, 1863-8.20 a. m.
Orders were sent by courier last night to govern Wilder's movements. If you have not already destroyed the railroad bridge near Shellmound, give orders not to have it done, but seize and hold it. It will [not] be very much to our advantage to destroy any railroad bridge this side of Chattanooga. What was the cause of the firing last night? Report as soon as you can.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
BATTLE CREEK, August 23, 1863.
(Received Bridgeport, 1.30 p. m.)
Bridge was destroyed last night, as reported by courier this morning. I was not unmindful of the future of the bridge to us, but the possibility of trains running by decided me to destroy it as I did, not being authorized to cross a force to south side of river. The bridge was about 18 feet high. The firing last night was to cover the crossing of the party that burned the bridge and brought the flatboat to this side.
J. J. REYNOLDS,
BATTLE CREEK SIGNAL STATION,
August 23, 1863.
I believe that the direct road from here to Chattanooga is unobstructed. Our orderlies are tired out. May not a portion, at least, of Ray's cavalry be sent me for communication with General Wilder. Your courier left here before signal line opened this morning.