speak out for Union; if so, this is a pretext to seize and steal all his property-a terror to the people, waylaying roads, &c.
This Colonel Cooper is now staying, and is likely to stay, on Duck River, between Williamsport and Centreville, and from there to Harpeth, at the iron bridge, back and forth, stealing, killing, &c. By a well-managed affair all these rogues could be caught, these factories and cotton captured.
I request specially and particularly that this letter of mine be strictly confidential, as I have obtained information from Union men and friends, and if I was identified as giving information, or if these men who told me should be found out and identified, they could not live one week in rebeldom unprotected.
JOHN C. SMITH.
P. S.-I will write you again soon from Nashville.
HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., SECOND DIV., 14TH ARMY CORPS,
Chattanooga, Tenn., October 14, 1863.
GENERAL: On the morning of the 9th instant my brigade, strengthened by the Eleventh Michigan Volunteer Infantry, left the west bank of the Tennessee River in charge of forage train; proceeded up the Tennessee Valley to Poe's Tavern, then crossed Walden's Ridge, and late that evening encamped at the foot of the mountain in the Sequatchie Valley. The next morning at 5 o'clock we moved up the valley on the north side of Sequatchie River, nearly 11 miles, to the farms of Austin Johnson, Cornelius Lamb, [and others;] loaded our wagons with corn, and returned with the train to the gap and encamped for the night. Next morning at daylight the train commenced moving up the mountain, preceded by one regiment and followed by the remainder of the brigade. By 5 o'clock in the afternoon the train and troops reached Poe's Tavern, in the Tennessee Valley, where we remained for the night. The next day (October 12) we returned to Chattanooga.
The road to Poe's Tavern before the recent rains way very good. The road from Poe's to the summit of the ridge is in places exceedingly bad, but could, with some labor, be made a fair mountain road. The road across the ridge (12 miles) is good, but the descent on the west side is very steep and difficult. The recent rains will render it almost impassable for loaded teams.
If I understood your instructions, you desired me to see that the quartermaster in charge of the wagons of the different corps gave the proper vouchers to persons from whom the forage was obtained, and directed that no memorandum receipts be given. I found, however, that the quartermasters were not furnished with the proper blanks, and in many instances memorandum receipts were given. In addition to the troops of my own brigade and the regiment named above, there was a detachment from the First Ohio Cavalry, commanded by Lieutenant
,two companies of Sixth Indiana Volunteers, and a part of General Palmer's escort accompanying the train. I placed in arrest Captain McKeehan, Company B, Sixth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, for permitting his men to kill hogs and take poultry without proper authority. Quite a number of unarmed