HDQRS. FIRST Brigadier SECOND CAVALRY DIVISION,
Smith's Cross-Roads, Tenn., Valley, September 2, 1863.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Dept. of the Cumberland:
SIR: In compliance with the requirements of paragraph 1, General Orders, No. 53, current series, from headquarters Department of the Cumberland, I have the honor to make the following report:
I am encamped between Smith's Cross-Roads and Morganton with 1,100 men Fourt U. S. Regular Cavalry, Fourth Michigan, and Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, with two pieces of artillery. My scouts traverse the country between Sulphur Springs, above Washington, and Thatcher's Ferry, below Sale Creek, daily, and constant visits are paid to the innumerable ford and ferries between these points.
A scout of 200 men which I sent to Kingston night before last has this moment returned, bringing in 12 prisoners. We lost 1 man mortally wounded. Some of General Burnside's men entered Kingston with my men, and last night there was a large force of them there.
Forrest has fallen back across the Tennessee, having first destroyed a large portion of his wagon train. The night before last three steam-boats, the Tennessee, the Holston, and the James Glover, towing six barges, came down from Loudon, and are now up the Hiwassee; the boats were all light. All the boats, barges, &c., left t Loudon were collected together for the purpose of being burned. A large fire was seen at Loudon on Sunday evening-by some supposed to be the boats, by others the bridge.
The river between here and Kingston is strongly guarded. At Blythe's and Doughty's Ferries intrenchments have been thrown up, but I think the guns have been removed within the last couple of days; the force at Blythe's Ferry is now the Twenty-eight [Thirty-second] and Forty-third [forty-fifth] Mississippi, under Colonel Lowrey. General Clayton's brigade arrived on the 22nd from below, but on Saturday, the 29th, they moved again in the direction of the railroad.
A deserter form the Twenty-sixth Tennessee, at Loudon, states that Buckner's command has crossed the Tennessee River at that place, and are now being pushed forward as fast as possible toward Chattanooga. Eighty-seven men deserted from the Twenty-sixth Tennessee within the last ten days.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. H. G. MINTY,
HDQRS. FIRST BRIGADE, SECOND CAVALRY DIVISION,
Smith's Cross-Roads, September 2, 1863.
Commanding, Poe's Tavern:
SIR: I have your of yesterday's date. I think Colonel Wilder should picket as far up as Thatcher's. I have only about 1,100 men with me, and am now guarding about 60 miles of river. It is important that I should watch Washington and above. The entire of Forrest's force is now between here and Loudon and in a good posi-