FLAT LICK, September 5, 1863.
Made reconnaissance of Cumberland yesterday. Got in rear and surprised 3 of the enemy's pickets. The reports as to the strength of enemy in gap contradictory; it is, however, certain that they are exerting themselves to provision the place. The works appear in a bad state of repair. I saw no large guns, but am informed they have some field pieces.
JNumbers F. DE COURCY,
HDQRS. THIRD BRIG., FOURTH DIV., 23rd ARMY CORPS,
In the Field, 19 Miles southwest of Tazewell,
September 5, 1863-12 o'clock.
Lieutenant Colonel GEORGE B. DRAKE,
Information from the gap on yesterday that the rebels were still there, but expecting to move two regiments of cavalry, and a small body of infantry are reported to have been there yesterday. It is the opinion of the citizens along the road that they are gone. I shall press forward until I receive definite information as to their where-abouts, and will, if possible, intercept them. I find a great quantity of corn on this road, considerable hay, wheat, and rye.
I am, colonel, &c.,
J. M. SHACKELFORD,
HEADQUARTERS TWENTY-THIRD ARMY CORPS,
Lenoir's, September 5, 1863.
Colonel R. K. BYRD,
Comdg. First Brig., Fourth Div., 23rd Army Corps:
You will move with your brigade across the Tennessee River and take a position at or near Athens, covering the country on your right with pickets and scouts, up to the river at or near Decatur or Smith's Cross-Roads, and on your left as far as you can without weakening too much your main body. Communicate with the troops of General Rosecrans at Pikeville or at their nearest point to you. Reconnoiter the country and river thoroughly, and send prompt and full information to the headquarters of the corps at Knoxville. Ascertain particularly the resources of the country in the matter of subsistence forage, and, when practicable, gather into store-houses or other suitable places all the grain of every description you can, and see generally that supplies within the country are not squandered or destroyed. Be very careful and watchful of the conduct of your men and see that they do not plunder or pillage from any one. Whatever is to be used or destroyed will be done only with your knowledge and by your direction. The Forty-fifth Ohio is temporarily detached from your command.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. L. HARTSUFF,