War of the Rebellion: Serial 056 Page 0669 Chapter XLIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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The weather during the recent active operations against the enemy was exceedingly inclement. By consequence my horses are in bad condition and very much in need of rest; some 400 are unshod. I find great difficulty in getting them shod; iron is scarce, and the tools in many of the shops have been removed by the citizens; done when they expected the Yankees to come through the valley. I am much disappointed. I have not been able to get my horses in condition earlier than this. I am expediting matters as much as possible under the circumstances, and hope to have all things in early readiness. General Roddey's command is even worse off than mine in regard to unshod horses; he too is shoeing up. It having been reported to me that the cavalry in the direction and neighborhood of Maysville had moved toward Shelbyville. I immediately sent scouts to ascertain the facts in this regard and to get information as to their true whereabouts. As yet I have had no report from them.

I am, colonel, yours, respectfully,

S. D. LEE,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY IN MISSISSIPPI, Courtland, Ala., November 8, 1863.

Colonel G. W. BRENT,

Asst. Adjt. General, Army of Tennessee, near Chattanooga.

COLONEL: By mistake the note referred to in my letter this morning was left out of the package. Inclosed please find the same.

The enemy after trying to cross Elk River near its mouth, on the road from Florence to Athens, abandoned the idea by reason of his finding the Elk too full. He then turned up the Elk on the road to Pulaski, 9 miles, and then to the right, as explained in the note, which was left by General Sherman at a citizen's house near Rogersville, as direction for the army following, and herewith inclosed. This route will lead directly on the road to Fayetteville by way of Elkton. Scouts just in report that General Crook's division of cavalry is still in the vicinity of Maysville, with headquarters at that place. This force is estimated at 5,000 or 6,000. There is no indication of any movement on the part of the cavalry. This information is gotten from Union and loyal citizens both. My scouts went as far as Brownsborough, on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. This road is in operation as far as Paint Rock, and a large force of negroes at work upon the road from Stevenson to Huntsville. Passes were taken day before yesterday, signed by General Crook at Maysville.

I have ordered the destruction of all bridges and trestle-work on the roads from Huntsville to Decatur, and from Decatur as far up the railroad as is safe toward Columbia, Tennessee With this state of affairs before me, I do not deem it safe to cross the river. I cannot find on the river fit for use more than eight boats. I am having others constructed. It might change my impression of the present feasibility of crossing the river if I knew there would be an exit for me across the mountains into East Tennessee. I would like to be informed upon this point.

I am, colonel, yours, respectfully,

S. D. LEE,

Major-General.