with instructions to scout from there to above Carmichael's Ford. Lieutenant Bales, with 8 men, proceeded to Easley's Ferry. All of these officers have instructions, if they found any of the enemy, to report immediately to me by courier. No courier having arrived, added to the best information I can get, I am led to believe that this side of the river is entirely free from the enemy and that their main force is now at Russellville and Morristown.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Sixth Indiana Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS LEFT WING, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Pulaski, Tennessee, December 25, 1863.
Major General STEPHEN A. HURLBUT,
Commanding Sixteenth Army Corps:
DEAR SIR: My command is stretched from Columbia to Decatur rebuilding this railroad, and have built some very large and important bridges. We are not troubled much with guerrillas; have had a few fights with mounted infantry, in which we have captured 342 prisoners, including 32 officers. All my old regiments have re-enlisted and are going home. I have not got more than three regiments but what will re-enlist three-fourths or more of their veterans. It runs through the command like wild-fire. The Ohio brigade are all in and will go in a body. The Second Iowa have already gone.
I desire that a reorganization of my command should be made. Major-General Sherman said he would have you issue the order, making a large division and assigning me the command. This will place General Sweeny in command of his old brigade-the First. Please issue the orders as soon as convenient after General Sherman's arrival.
My force for sixty days will be very small.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. M. DODGE,
LA GRANGE, December 25, 1863.
The force which fought the enemy last night fell back on Somerville. I have ordered them to move east and southeast toward Van Buren. I have also sent 300 men and four pieces of artillery north to New Castle. I have 160 men now at Van Buren patrolling toward Middleburg and Bolivar; will keep patrols going all night. From all information, I think Forrest's whole force is crossing at Estenaula and will attempt to cross the road between here and Pocahontas. I think it would be well to have all the telegraph operators up to-night.
All quiet south.
B. H. GRIERSON,