if possible, but if you are unable to do so, you will return to this place by the road pursued by the division when coming to Pulaski. You should not have permitted your command to have become reduced, but should have taken fresh horses wherever you could have found them, and should have procured subsistence by the way by compelling farmers to furnish for your command. A party of home guards, under Major Murphy, was ordered to join Colonel Rowett at Lexington; should you fall in with them, they will undoubtedly inform you where Colonel Rowett's command is.
Keep me informed of any important information, and especially if there is a probability of Colonel Rowett being cut off.
By order of T. W. Sweeny, brigadier-general commanding:
L. H. EVERTS,
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.
CHATTANOOGA, December 15, 1863-11.30 p.m.
General Dodge captured a party of rebels to-day who have been reconnoitering the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad and were then reconnoitering the Nashville and Decatur Railroad. Caution your troops to keep a bright lookout for such characters. They have tapped the telegraph and taken off messages.
WM. D. WHIPPLE,
Chief of Staff.
NASHVILLE, December 15, 1863.
Major General U. S. GRANT:
The condition of affairs on the railroad from here to Bridgeport seems to me to demand an immediate and thorough inspection and I respectfully recommend that orders be given to Brigadier-General Dodge to make such an examination at once, and report to you the condition of the road, the energy with which repairs are pushed forward, and the urgency of repairs, as well as the administration of the road generally having in view the speed of trains, the frequent and unnecessary delays, the condition and police of the cars, and the matter of fares collected and accounted for. Very many cars have been run off the track and upset, and no attempt to have been made to get them back into service, and I think everything and everybody connected with the road need overhauling.
WM. F. SMITH,
Chief Engineer, Military Division.
COLUMBIA, December 15, 1863.
Major General G. H. THOMAS,
Commanding Army of the Cumberland:
Permit me to make the following report: I started out last Friday, 11th instant, from Calliak's with 100 mounted men of the Eighteenth Missouri, Colonel Miller's regiment, under order of General Dodge, commanding Left Wing of Sixteenth Army Corps,