HEADQUARTERS FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Scottsborough, Ala., December 31, 1863.
Colonel T. S. BOWERS,
Asst. Adjt. General, Mil., Div. of the Miss., Chattanooga:
I have just returned from Paint Rock River on horseback; find roads very bad. Will move forward General John E. Smith's division to Huntsville, as soon as it is possible to get transportation through the Flint River and Paint Rock swamps. Am having wagon road repaired as rapidly as possible; will send forward and commence work on Limestone bridge, between Huntsville and Decatur, as soon as I can do so. The roads from Woodville to Gunter's Ferry are at present impassable. Colonel Alexander, at Huntsville, reports to me this morning that he has captured rebel pickets on the Huntsville and Guntersville road; also herd of cattle and hogs intended to be crossed over at that point.
JOHN A. LOGAN,
HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Camp Proclamation, December 31, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel J. H. HAMMOND,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Fifteenth Army Corps:
COLONEL: The expedition sent out December 29 to explore the valley of Paint Rock River and Flint River returned yesterday. They proceeded to Vienna, and there crossed over the dividing ridges toward Flint River. The officer in command reports a pretty good supply of corn and fodder all the way down Paint Rock for 15 miles; beyond there are pine barrens very thinly settled. The valley of Flint River is very well cleaned out, and, in his opinion, never was as rich as Paint Rock. The horses and mules have all been taken and carried off to some extent by our cavalry, but mostly by the rebels.
No force of the enemy has been seen in the country explored for more than a month, but rumor says that a detachment of cavalry occasionally crosses the Tennessee River. As soon as muster is over I intend to make another scout toward Tennessee River, and also up Paint Rock. The results will be duly laid before you. I assigned camping-grounds to the different brigades, and the men will be very comfortably fixed in a few days. They are erecting log-cabins, chimneys,&c. As soon as the weather settles I will have the roads from Stevens' Cut to beyond Paint Rock Bottom put in thorough repair. It being New Year tomorrow, I suggest to the commanding general that a salute be fired. Will you be kind enough to ask for it?
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. JOS. OSTERHAUS,
COLLIERVILLE, December 31, 1863-12.30 p. m.
I have just arrived here. Morgan is en route for this place. Mizner has gone to La Grange via Mount Pleasant. Seventh Illinois is