bama. One very intelligent deserter by the name of H. H. Smith, says he left Gadsden, Cherokee County, Ala., last Monday, came up Big Mills Creek, through De Kalb County, to this point. Saw no rebel forces, except small scouting parties, this side of Lookout Mountain. Says he saw Roddey's cavalry last Monday and Tuesday going in the direction of Rome, Ga., across Lookout Mountain. Roddey's men reported the Yankees coming in force this way from Tuscumbia.
Smith says Bragg was sending all his trains across Coosa River, toward Rome and Atlanta; says he saw a courier from Atlanta, who reports great commotion in that locality on account of reported approach of our forces from the southwest. Smith says large numbers of negroes were conscripted in his neighborhood to work on fortifications at Selma, Ala., but were hurriedly sent back about a week since, because the rebel authorities said the works could not be completed before forces would reach there from Grant's army.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. F. SMITH,
Colonel, Commanding Post.
HEADQUARTERS CHIEF OF CAVALRY. DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Island Ferry, September 27, 1863.
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: When I was at your headquarters day before yesterday I heard nothing said about Colonel Daniel McCook's brigade going to the mouth of Chickamauga Creek to relieve my cavalry. The only conversation I had with you was to the effect that Colonel McCook's brigade should relieve the cavalry of General Crook's division, which was stationed near here, in order that he [Cook] might move farther up the river to the vicinity of Washington, where his other brigade [Minty's] had gone, and take charge of watching the upper fords of the river above where Wilder's brigade is posted.
My cavalry has not been stationed over 4 miles above this, excepting one regiment, the Second Michigan, which is at Dallas and which your ordered to report to Colonel Wilder when his brigade moved up the river to guard the fords. Therefore, when I heard you say that McCook was to relieve General Crook, I directed General C. to show Colonel McCook where his cavalry had been posted, and yesterday morning General Crook marched up the river. The mounted infantry brigade is posted on Chickamauga Creek. I have had no cavalry there. I had no knowledge of Colonel Daniel McCook being ordered to the mouth of the Chickamauga till I received your note last night.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ROBT. B. MITCHELL,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Cavalry.
57 R R-VOL XXX, PT III