HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., FOURTH DIV.,23rd ARMY CORPS, Post Oak Springs, Tenn., September 6, 1863.
Commanding First Brigade, Second Cavalry Division:
I received your favor of yesterday, and in reply will inform your that I have been ordered with my command to Athens, Tenn. I shall march with my command for that place at 8 a.m. to-day. I will send some scots up toward Smith's Cross-Roads, and will communicate with the troops of General Rosecrans. In regard to the enemy in front, I think there are none, or, if there is an enemy there, he is so far off that his position cannot be ascertained.
R. K. BYRD,
Colonel, Commanding First Brigade.
[Inclosure No. 2.]
HDQRS. FIRST BRIGADE, SECOND CAVALRY DIVISION, Sale Creek Camp Ground, September 7, 1863.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Left Flank:
SIR: I have to acknowledge receipt of your dispatch of yesterday's date, directing me, in case Forrest should cross the river, to hold or obstruct the passes across the mountains. General Hazen cannot be aware of the fact that between Sale and Richland Creeks there are four good, practicable wagon roads across the mountains, viz, Paine's trace, Tioga pike, Johnson's trace, and Hart's pike, and that his late order moving me to this point places me 10 miles from Paine's; that my entire effective force consists of about 1,100 men, out of which over 100 are constantly on picket - some of them as far out as 8 miles - and that escorts to forage trains, patrols, and scouts reduce the force under my command which would be available for any sudden movement to about 500 men.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
ROBT. H. G. MINTY,
SEPTEMBER 7, 1863.
Major General T. L. CRITTENDEN:
GENERAL: A messenger just in from Lieutenant Fitch, of the signal corps, reports that my company detailed for signal guard are resisted in attempting to reach "the hill." One of our men was severely wounded in the skirmish. I don't know where "the hill" is, and am not in a condition to determine what force ought to go out. The messenger says there are marks, as if mountain howitzers had been about. I will order one regiment to march at once, to be strengthened or diminished as you may direct.
JOHN M. PALMER.