just returned to that place from the Tennessee River. The work on the Northwestern railroad was progressing. Guerrillas between the Cumberland and Duck Rivers broken up. Perkins and Ray were disposed of, the former having been killed and the latter captured. Refugees and conscripts from the south side of the river report that Forrest and Pillow are at Jackson, West Tennessee, with about 4,000 men, 1,000 of whom are well mounted and organized.
December 15, a small party of rebels, under Maj. Joe Fontaine, Roddey's adjutant, was captured by General Dodge near Pulaski. They had been on a reconnaissance along the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad and the Nashville and Decatur Railroad. Measures were immediately taken to guard against an attack on either railroad.
On the 17th, Howard's corps returned to Chattanooga from Knoxville; also Davis' division, of the Fourteenth Corps. The latter was posted along Spring Creek, south of Missionary Ridge, and the former returned to its position in Lookout Valley.
Through scouts we learn that the enemy is strengthening his position between Tunnel Hill and Dalton; also at Resaca, near the Coosa River, and at Allatoona Mountains, the last named place being a formidable position. Information from various sources leads to the belief that Hardee is making the Oostenaula River his front, defended by rifle-pits and fortifications; also the Etowah River. All deserters and scouts agree in their statements that the rebels in our front are disheartened and demoralized. President Lincoln's amnesty proclamation was having a good effect in encouraging desertions, and movements have been taken to circulate it quite extensively within the enemy's lines. The cavalry command, under General Elliott, having been detained by General Foster for duty in his department, Colonel Eli Long, Fourth Ohio Cavalry, commanding Second Brigade, Second Division Cavalry, was stationed at Calhoun, on the Hiwassee River, for the purpose of watching the movements of the enemy in that vicinity. The balance of the Second Division, under command of General Crook, was ordered by General Grant, on the 20th, to move from Huntsville, where it then was, to Prospect, with a view to operate against Forrest. General W. S. Smith, chief of cavalry of the Military Division of the Mississippi, with the Third, Fifth, and Seventh Kentucky, Second and Fourth Tennessee, and Eighth Iowa Cavalry Regiments, started for Savannah on the 20th, to cross the Tennessee, and operate on the flank and rear of Forrest and drive him from West Tennessee. The operations of the cavalry have been quite brilliant during the month. Colonel L. D. Watkins, commanding Third Brigade, First Division, from his position at Rossville, has made several successful raids into the enemy's lines. On the 5th, a reconnaissance sent by him proceeded as far as Ringgold without finding any signs of the enemy, except stragglers and deserters. Again on the 14th, with detachments of the Fourth and Sixth Kentucky Cavalry, numbering about 250 men, he made a reconnaissance toward La Fayette, surprised that town, capturing a colonel of the Georgia Home Guards, 6 officers of the rebel signal corps, and about 38 horses and mules; our loss, none. On the 23rd he sent out a scout of 150 men from Fourth and Sixth Kentucky Regiments, under command of Major Welling, of the Fourth Kentucky, which proceeded as far as La Fayette, capturing at that place 1 commissioned officer, 16 non-commissioned and privates, 10 citizens [said to be violent rebels], and 38 horses and mules.