HDQRS. SECOND BATTN., SECOND MICHIGAN CAVALRY,
Rankin's Ferry, October 5, 1863.
Captain D. G. SWAIM,
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to state that my command consists of four companies; strength, 5 officers and 100 enlisted men; that my orders were to guard the Upper and Lower Rankin's Ferry and Eyler's Ford, 1 1/2 miles above the upper ferry by river and 4 1/2 miles by nearest land route. In your order this a.m. to me you request a full and complete report of the cavalry guards patrolling the river between Chattanooga and Jasper. If there are any guards other than above stated, they are not under my command.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. P. WELLS,
Captain Second Michigan Cavalry, Comdg. Second Battn.
Some more cavalry must be sent to patrol that river, or infantry must be detached instead.
W. S. R.
October 5, 1863-6 p.m.
I have arrived at this place, where I will feed to-night and draw rations and get some ammunition. The rebels have burnt the brigade south of town; were on the Shelby road when last heard from; their rear guard, I suppose, is a couple of miles out of town, so as to occupy our men while they carry out their plans. I shall send out my scouts in all directions to find their whereabouts and their intentions. I will let you know immediately what information I get. I will push after them in accordance with any information I may get in the morning, and, if I catch up with them, I will try and detain them until you get up. The telegraph-wire is also cut between here and Nashville. No news from Chattanooga.
STEVENSON, October 5, 1863.- 7.15 p.m.
Chief of Staff, Chattanooga:
In compliance with telegram I have examined the defenses of Stevenson and Bridgeport. Two regiments and four guns, I think, will protect the depot at this place against any force the enemy will be likely to send against it.
I visited Bridgeport this afternoon. The works on this side the river, although not planned with a view to all that will be required when the railroad bridge is completed, I think can be made to answer if the 4 1/2-inch Parrotts can be put in them. On the south side