at Cowan. I think the works there would hold the guard. The stockades on the tunnel should be made as soon as possible, and the same preparations inside to hold a short siege. I hope you will see that no delay occurs, as you would be greatly blamed in case of mishap.
You have tools enough to do some work, if not as rapidly as you could wish. Begin with what you have and occupy the works every night with a good guard. There was sent here yesterday from Decherd a considerable number of negro women and children without food and very destitute. They say they were directed at Dechered to get off here. Please direct your provost to send no more to this point. This place is now full of poor negroes. If sent at all to the rear, they should be sent to Nashville. I have been intending to come down, but cam's find time yet.
A. S. WILLIAMS,
HEADQUARTERS ELEVENTH AND TWELFTH CORPS, Lookout Valley, Tennessee, November 13, 1863.
Commanding Eleventh Corps:
GENERAL: The major-general commanding has directed me to inquire what was the occasion of the picket-firing heard this morning, it if was on your line. He also directs me to state that if you will question the deserters who came in last night, you will ascertain that the force of the rebels that attacked part of your brigade and destroyed some of your wagons were only 40 or 50 strong. The general desires a written statement of the affair of the foraging expedition.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. PERKINS,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. SPEARS' BRIGADE, EAST Tennessee VOL. INFANTRY, Sale Creek, Tennessee, November 13, 1863-2 p.m.
Lieutenant Colonel C. GODDARD,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Dept. of the Cumberland:
SIR: Reliable information has just been received from Cleveland, Tennessee, up to Saturday last. On that day 100 cannon went through Cleveland and 100 wagons with them; whether they took the Dalton or Chattanooga road is not known. One train of rebel soldiers also went down by railroad. The troops have all left Cleveland and gone south except a company or two. This information is all derived from Parson Tipton, who lives upon the south side of the river and has just come over. All is quiet above and below as far as heard from.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES G. SPEARS,