[General Ewing's], General J. E. Smith following in his rear some 10 miles. The Elk Creek, containing 4 feet water and 200 yards wide, was impassable. The direction of march was changed to Gilbertsborough, thence by way of Prospect toward Fayetteville, the Third and Fourth Divisions taking this route, whilst the First and Second [under General Blair] going to Pulaski. Richland Creek was being bridged for General J. E. Smith, heavy rain having fallen. The roads are exceedingly hilly, rocky, and in some places very muddy; marching very difficult with wagons. The general's advance is now probably at Bradshaw Creek, 15 miles from Fayetteville. The Tennessee not fordable. No enemy north save guerrillas.
General Dodge reported he would be in readiness to cross at Eastport on Sunday last with 8,000 men, including two regiments cavalry and due proportion of artillery. General Sherman's command consists of the Fifteenth Army Corps proper and the Third U. S. and Fifth Ohio Cavalry. He desires to know if you do not think it advisable to open the railroad from Nashville, by Columbia, to Decatur. The railroad from Decherd to Fayetteville is reported complete, but is not running. I am directed to telegraph to Nashville for rations. To what point shall they be sent? I await orders at this place.
JOS. C. AUDENRIED,
U. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Camp 5 Miles from Pulaski, Tennessee, November 7, 1863.
Maj. Gen. W. T. SHERMAN,
Commanding Department and Army of the Tennessee:
I forward you some dispatches from Admiral Porter, sent to me by General Dodge, together with General Dodge's dispatch to me, which gives the latest information from his command.
Your dispatch directing the First Division to take the route via Masonville reached General Woods, and he returned off by that route to come to Pulaski thence to Fayetteville.
The road by which you directed the Second Division we found to be very good so far, and I fear that it was a mistake to turn the First Division off at Masonville and Dodge at Florence. I think the route by Rogersville and thence as you directed the Second Division is the best. I have directed the officer who came to me from Dodge to go back over the route taken by the First Division and report the two routes to Dodge, giving him his option. He will be well qualified to give an opinion to Dodge, as he came over the route taken by the Second Division.
I presume that Giles Smith is beyond Pulaski, but as he will forward this dispatch to you, I will instruct him to give you his exact position. The First Division must be within a day's march of this place. This command is in very good condition.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
FRANK P. BLAIR, JR.,