This portion of the country has been in the occupation of both armies for months, and is consequently stripped for a long distance on both sides of the railroad - of horses and vehicles especially. What few were left, I think, have fallen victims to the recent necessities of our cavalry.
Forage can be got within 8 miles if I had means of transportation. I will see what can be done in the way of country teams.
Can the printed orders of the department be obtained anywhere? Can you inform me of the orders relative to trading with citizens?
There is here a Captain Sims, commissioned by Governor Johnson, brigadier-general and military governor, who claims very full powers to conscript citizens and regulate the patriotic standard generally. His commission is pretty broad, almost broad enough to hang, draw, and quarter. He seems to conscript men, and then give them a sort of vicarious commission to enroll and seize others. Can you tell me how far the Federal military authorities are required to recognize and aid this and such State officers?
As soon as I can get tools I shall begin work at the several important points, on such small defenses as seem necessary. There are some very feeble, badly-located works at most of the bridges and trestles. I will make a detailed report of them.
Very respectfully, colonel, your obedient servant,
A. S. WILLIAMS,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
HDQRS. SECOND BRIG., SECOND DIV., 11TH ARMY CORPS, Stevenson, Ala., October 17, 1863.
Lieutenant ColonelT. A. MEYSENBURG,
COLONEL: Inclosed you will find copy of to-day's report to headquarters Army of the Cumberland.
I am, sir, very respectfully, you obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
HDQRS. SECOND BRIG., SECOND DIV., ELEVENTH CORPS, Stevenson, Ala., October 17, 1863.
Lieutenant ColonelC. GODDARD,
COLONEL: In compliance with General Orders, No. 53, Department of the Cumberland, current series, I have the honor to report the disposition of my command for the protection of the railroad from Widow's Creek, between Bridgeport and Stevenson, to the tunnel between Tantalon and Cowan Station.
The brigade consists of the Fifty-fifth and Seventy-third Ohio Regiments, the Thirty-third Massachusetts, and One hundred and thirty-sixth New York.
For convenience' sake, I propose to number the posts from east to west, beginning at Widow's Creek, No. 1, where is posted one company under command of Lieutenant Caleb Blood, Thirty-third Massachusetts.