HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, CAVALRY CORPS, Rockford, Tennessee, November 10, 1863.
[Maj. General JOHN G. PARKE:]
GENERAL: All quiet in the front. Colonel Adams, at Maryville, reported late yesterday evening that there were no rebels on this side the river. As soon as I got your report inclosing General Potter's. I directed him to find out positively. The report of citizens has been to the same effect almost every day since I have been here, and even when scouting parties get to within a mile or two of the river they receive the same reports. It is almost impossible to get a true report from any citizens, even those who are undoubted Union men, as they do not wait to find out the truth, but run on the slightest rumor, and in naturally increases, and the rebel citizens do not know anything. These deserters say there is only a battalion of cavalry now at Motley's Ford, two companies above, and the rest are distributed along the river to Loudon, and that the most of the cavalry is about Philadelphia. I have not received a single report, with one exception, from any citizens who had seen a rebel. You can judge how difficult it is to know when to believe them.
My horses are in a very bad condition owing to the scratches, or sore-heel; we have no horse medicines of any kind, and I believe there is none in the department.
I feel satisfied that I can be able to rive you timely information of any approach of the enemy in this direction, and that I can hold this part of the country for some time.
I have one brigade here without shelter or blankets. If possible I would like to get the latter at least to-day. My quartermaster is in town for that purpose. Colonel Adams has just reported no rebels this side the river (9.30).
W. P. SANDERS,
[NOVEMBER 10, 1863.]
[Maj. Gen. JOHN G. PARKE:]
GENERAL: I send a report just received from Colonel Adams.
W. P. SANDERS,
MARYVILLE, November 10, 1863.
I have had scouts to the river at Niles' and Motley's Fords; also sent one to Unitia that has not yet reported. There are no rebels on this side; you need not be uneasy. I will know if they cross the river any time in less than three hours after they commence crossing, and will be amongst them. I will always give you timely notice. There is also a report with some little foundation that Longstreet is in Sweet Water, but not his men, though they are reported as coming. Wheeler's cavalry is reported as having arrived.