Valley, there not having been any forage trains in that section previous to the 26th day of September, when I reached there with my train. The inhabitants living on the ridge (Walden's) and in the valley (Sequatchie) report that corn is plentiful for a distance of 36 miles in length and 2 miles in breadth, the valley averaging 4 miles wide. As in most cases, the people living on the ridge are Union, but in the valley rebel sympathizers are found. About 7 miles from Chattanooga there is a gap in the mountain, through which wagon trains pass in going to Bridgeport (over the Anderson road.) At this place I determined to cross, but in consequence of the large number of wagon trains crossing I discovered that I would be likely to be detained for a long time, and therefore proceeded farther on to another gap (commonly called Poe's road) 8 miles distant. It is a difficult road to ascend, the grades are very steep, and in many places large rocks projecting from the earth which jar the wagons; the distance from the foot to the top of the ridge being 1 mile. On the top the road is good and level. The people are nearly all Union, but poor, and all prayerfully hope for an early termination of the war. But little forage exists on the mountain and farm pursuits are greatly neglected. In descending the mountain into the valley (Sequatchie) the road is fully as steep as the one leading into the Tennessee Valley, but smooth, and less difficulty is experienced in ascending or descending, it being 1 1/2 miles from the top of the ridge to its foot, where lives one Mr. Henson, a wealthy man and a rebel. Out of his abundant corn-fields we loaded our wagons. Along the entire route water is plenty and springs are everywhere abundant. It is 16 miles from Chattanooga to Poe's Gap (or Poe's Tavern) and 11 miles from the foot of the ridge on one side to the foot of the ridge on the other, making in all 27 miles from Chattanooga to the foot of the mountain on Poe's road in Sequatchie Valley. The distance from Chattanooga to the top of Walden's Ridge (8 1/2 miles) can be made in one day. From this point (the eastern brow) wagons can go down, load up, and return over the mountain to Poe's Tavern at the eastern foot in another day, and from Poe's Tavern they can return to Chattanooga in five hours, making for the round trip two and one-half days.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. S. CLARK,
Captain Co. E, 15th Regiment Pennsylvania Vol. Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS ANDERSON CAVALRY,
Chattanooga, September 30, 1863.
Respectfully forwarded for the information of the general commanding.
The report shows an abundance of corn in the Sequatchie Valley, extending for 36 miles in length and 2 miles in width, and accessible from Chattanooga by the Poe road at present in two and a half days for a round trip.
WM. J. PALMER,
(Received headquarters Department of the Cumberland, September 30.)
59 R R-VOL XXX, PT III