DUCK RIVER, October 7, 1863.
GENERAL: A rumor has just come in that 15,000 rebels are advancing on Wartrace from Manchester, a town 12 miles east of Tullahoma. It as not well accredited and I disbelieve it. I have several citizen scouts out on the road who will give us warning. Scouts report no one near us on the east; the country has been scoured. One of them brought in this rumor.
I believe I have already informed you that the Mechanics have gone up to repair bridge; the timbers have also gone up, and about 1,000 men to guard the workmen. I think that at least that many men ought to be kept there till the coast is clear on the east.
This is written since the note in relation to the provisions.
STEVENSON, October 7, 1863-10 a.m.
Decherd, Elk River, and Tullahoma:
I am directed by the major-General commanding to inform you that he is advised that the rebel raiders divided into two columns at McMinnville, and that one moved in the direction of Murfreesborough, the other Fayetteville via Shelbyville. The former was repulsed at Murfreesborough,and he expects that the latter will be if he shows himself in your vicinity.
WM. H. LAWRENCE,
Major, Aide-de-Camp, and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General
STEVENSON, October 7, 1863-8 a.m.
Your dispatch announcing the completion of the bridge received. Be pleased to have all the pontoons not used in the bridge put in immediate readiness for use up the river. Have also steps taken to secure all the trestles and other lumber used about the bridges from loss by the rising of the river. Have all the corn in your vicinity gathered for the animals, as we are short of forage.
STEVENSON, October 7, 1863-11 a.m.
The bridge-head commenced on the opposite side of the river form you appears to be unnecessarily large for the proper security of one bridge. If this is your opinion, please have it reduced and the defense as you determine completed. I was required to do this, but during the pendency of operations along the line of railroad I cannot well leave here. Butterfield, at the head of the Twelfth Corps,is opening our communications with Nashville. It appears that the corps and division commanders were severed from their commands by the raiders.
I send you by the first opportunity a copy of instructions to cavalry, and issue yours to the brigade which is to march to-mor-