zens, was repulsed. Their soldiers say they whipped the Yankees, but were ordered away; that is, had not time to reap the fruits of their victory.
When I moved this morning from were I camped last night, which was 7 miles from here on the Murfreesborough and Shelbyville pike, I left McCook's division to wait for orders. Since I have found out their directions, I have ordered McCook to strike across the country direct for Unionville. The remainder of the command is moving out on the Farmington road and will soon strike their rear guard, and I shall find out the exact direction they have taken and their intentions, when I will again telegraph you whether they intend striking the Tennessee River at Muscle Shoals or above. I cannot as yet positively state, but shall know before night, if they intend crossing at Muscle Shoals, which is possible.
General Dodge should be telegraphed at once and head them off to give me time to gain upon them. This force is larger than mine, but if I can get up to them, I have no doubt I can whip them and capture them, with all their dry-goods, greenbacks, &c., Every man is loaded down to the guards with plunder; hundreds of them have on our uniforms. My horses are very much jaded, but the men are all right and can stand it as long as there is a rebel ahead of them. To make the thing sure, I will also telegraph to General Dodge, at Corinth, but you must do the same.
I think they did no damage to the railroad, except to the bridge at Murfreesborough, and tearing up rails and burning ties in some places. I have ordered the Michigan Engineers to go immediately to work and repair the bridge near Murfreesborough, and it will be done by to-morrow.
ROBERT B. MITCHELL,
HDQRS. SECOND BATTN., SECOND MICHIGAN CAVALRY,
Rankin's Ferry, October 7, 1863.
Captain D. G. SWAIM,
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to state that I received a dispatch last night, ordering me to patrol the river as far up as Kelley's Ferry. The captain conveying the order to Colonel Watkins, ordering a battalion from his brigade to re-enforce me, instructed me that Kelley's Ferry was at the Widow Hall's, 6 miles up the river. I find by examining a private map of a survey of the river, in possession of Mr. Mitchell, a Union man, residing near here, that Kelley's Ferry is up the river 15 miles distant, and 10 miles from Chattanooga by the ferry road. It was at this ferry, Mr. Mitchell says, that General the Widow Hall's is a private ferry to cultivated lands on the other side of the river, and is only accessible to foot passers or those mounted. Am I patrol and picket beyond the Widow Hall's?
Very respectfully, &c.,
B. P. WELLS,
Captain Second Michigan Cavalry, Comdg. Battalion.