DECHERD, November 17, 1863.
General J. J. REYNOLDS,
Chief of Staff:
The following telegram from Colonel Galbraith, at Shelbyville, has been received and telegraphed to General Crook:
All the information direct from Alabama reports Lee and Roddey on this side of the river. They crossed at Decatur and Brown's Ferry; also that Wheeler has moved up to Guntersville, Deposit, and Whitesburg with the intention of crossing on last Tuesday.
General Stanley has not arrived. I have sent headquarters to overtake First Division at Murfreesborough. Will join by rail
W. L. ELLIOTT,
HDQRS. SPEARS' BRIGADE, EAST Tennessee VOL. INFANTRY, Sale Creek, Tennessee, November 17, 1863-1 a.m.
Maj. Gen. J. J. REYNOLDS,
Chief of Staff, Department of the Cumberland:
GENERAL: The following has been received from above. I have the honor to submit the same for your information.
KINGSTON, November 16, 1863.
I can say to you that the enemy has crossed the river near Loudon, at Huff's Ferry, in consideration force. General Burnside is at Lenoir's with part of his force, and the other part is, I suppose, about Knoxville. I am here at Kingston, about 2,500 strong, and I intend to fight them. I am cut off from Burnside, but he advised me in the event I was forced back to retreat that way. If you can spare the men you will confer a great favor by sending one or two regiments on a scout this way. The general says if we can hold four days all will be well. I am in full possession of Kingston, and I intend to hold it as long as I can; still if they overwhelm me you may look for me. The report says that the rebels intend to put a bridge over the Tennessee River between here and you. You will do well to look to the river, and if I am forced back, somebody will be hurt certain. I expect I will send the hull of a steam-boat down to-night, commanded by Captain Chapman and 25 men. Please advise your pickets of the fact, and tell them not to fire on the boat, and afford them all the protection they can, as they will have to run the gauntlet. The enemy came up within 1 mile of this place last night, about 300 strong, and exchanged a few shots with us, but we repulsed them, and they are more than 3 miles off this morning.
Your obedient servant,
R. K. BYRD,
We have nothing later than the above. All is quiet within our lines.
I am, general, yours, truly,
JAMES G. SPEARS,
SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nov.17, 1863.
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V. The Forty-fourth Indiana Volunteers and the Fifteenth Kentucky Volunteers are hereby temporarily detached from the brigades