War of the Rebellion: Serial 052 Page 0503 Chapter XIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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CAMP AT ELROD RIDGE, September 9. 1863.

General POTTER:

All my forces have been in position for attack on the north side of the gap since forenoon yesterday; placed battery in position on Elrod Ridge this morning. During fog demanded surrender of the fort yesterday; received answer last night asking number of my forces. I replied diplomatically. Said I should place the battery in position and open fire at 12 m. if he did not surrender. General Shackelford has been on the south side of the gap for two or three days. Expect General Burnside to be there to-day. Enemy fired at me with cannon and small-arms yesterday, but I did not reply. I believe the gap will be ours to-day by surrender, or tomorrow by assault if my ammunition comes up.

JNumbers F. DE COURCY,

Colonel.

HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., FOURTH DIV., 23rd ARMY CORPS,

Prigmore's Farm, September 9, 1863.

Lieutenant Colonel GEORGE B. DRAKE, Assistant Adjutant-General:

I have the honor to inform you that my command is now at Prigmore's, on the Athens road, southwest of Sweet Water and 11 miles from Athens, on the road from Sweet Water to Smith's Cross-Roads and Decatur. We are 6 1/2 miles from Sweet Water and 20 miles from Washington, and are on the forks of the road in a good place for defense. Forage is excellent, and there are several mills which are grinding flour for us. We shall remain here to-day and gather forage and flour unless otherwise ordered, and will send out a scout to Athens and to Smith's Cross-Roads to communicate with General Rosecrans'forces. We sent a message to Sweet Water last night, but the messenger returned saying that there were no troops there. Reports still come in that there are 2,000 rebels in the direction of Athens.

Respectfully, &c.,

R. K. BYRD,

Colonel, Commanding.

HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., FOURTH DIV., 23rd ARMY CORPS,

Prigmore's Farm, Tenn., September 9. 1863.

Lieutenant Colonel GEORGE B. DRAKE, Assistant Adjutant-General:

I have received an order dated September 6, 1863, with the words "major-general commanding Twenty-third Army Corps" directing me to remain at Post Oak Springs instead of moving my command to Athens, as before ordered. In pursuance of orders received at Post Oak Springs, I have moved my command to within 11 miles of Athens, and have just received an order of the above description without any signature whatever. Please instruct me what to do under the circumstances. If no orders are received by tomorrow I will move to Athens as formerly instructed, as I dare not obey orders without signature.

Respectfully, &c.,

R. K. BYRD,

Colonel, Commanding.