loaded. Query, What are they doing? They have few stores. Wilder thinks they are moving the machinery from the railroad shops, rolling-mill, and such other property as may be of use to them in case of defeat, to Atlanta. There is also a report that Forrest with [sic] thousand mounted men is to make a dash in our rear, striking at McMinnville just as soon as we become engaged here. Deserters say that Hill's corps is above here scattered along the river from Harrison's to Kingston.
My lookout reports movements of troops this morning down the river. A party of cavalry that came up yesterday from Jasper report our people ready to cross the river. Why do they not do so? When the force moves up the river we can, by opening Williams' road, which strikes the river near lower end of Williams' Island, have direct and quick communication with them. It is about 6 miles from here, and is a good road. I have Major White and 100 at the foot of this road watching the river. There is a small boat and some canoes. Cannonading is heard at this time. The rebels are in line of battle, waiting and expecting something. If I can learn any thing to-day you shall have it.
G. D. WAGNER,
HDQRS. THIRD DIVISION, TWENTY-FIRST ARMY CORPS,
Pikeville, August 25, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel LYNE STARLING:
COLONEL: I inclose copy of communication from Colonel Minty received this morning. I have every confidence in Colonel Minty's vigilance and judgment, and believe you will be perfectly satisfied with his movements.
I send copy of statement of a refugee respecting the rebel forces across the Tennessee; also some information concerning Dibrell's movements. I feel confident that he has left Sparta, but the scouts I have sent there have not yet returned.
Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
H. P. VAN CLEVE,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
[Inclosure No. 1.]
HDQRS. FIRST BRIGADE, SECOND CAVALRY DIVISION,
Sale Creek Camp Ground, August 24, 1863.
A. A. G., Third Div., Twenty-first Army Corps:
SIR: I received extract from General Crittenden's signal message this noon. The general is evidently under the impression that I abandoned Morganton and Smith's Cross-Roads; this is not the case. So far as watching the enemy goes, I was under the impression that I was using a good deal of vigilance. I have had a scout in Washington and another at Blythe's Ferry every day, besides small ones in various other directions.
Both last night and the night before I had a picket on the banks of the river within 50 yards of Blythe's and Dowdy's Ferries. Night Before last a re-enforcement of two regiments arrived at Blythe's.