fastness of Sand Mountain who had been secreted a great part of the time for two years, several of whom have since raised companies for the First Alabama Cavalry, and some have enlisted in infantry regiments. One man, McCurdy, immediately after out second advance, mustered his company with a pencil on brown paper, christened it, assumed command, ordered an advance into Sand Mountain, and actually made capturers of rebel home guards in the same hiding-places they had themselves just vacated. These loyal Alabamians are invaluable, and exceed in number and are equal in zeal to anything we discovered in East Tennessee.
In obedience to your instructions, I left for Lebanon on the Rome road monday morning (the rain falling in torrents), having been joined by a brigade from each of the First and Fourth Divisions and A and H batteries, First Illinois Light Artillery, a part of the Fifteenth Michigan Mounted Infantry, a part of the Fifth Ohio Cavalry, and Captain Allen's company, First Alabama Cavalry,from Bridgeport. The road was so bad that I followed your suggestion and sent back all of our wheeled vehicles from Gourd Neck, and it was all they could do to reach the river through the bottom. The infantry then took the direct road to Lebanon, arriving there Tuesday at 12 o'clock. The cavalry, under command of Colonel Oliver, Fifteenth Michigan, marched toward Guntersville, having frequent skirmishes and some fine races with that of the enemy. Arriving within a few miles of Guntersville and finding that the place had been hastily evacuated, Colonel Oliver swung round toward the Lebanon road, communicated with me at Town Creek, and then moved rapidly to Lebanon, where he captured 1 lieutenant, and 2 stations of courier-line from Dalton to Decatur, a sergeant-major, about of courier-line form Dalton to Decatur, a sergeant-major, about a dozen privates, and $5,700 Confederate money, which proved to have been a State fund for the relief of soldiers' families. From Lebanon I sent the Fifteenth Michigan Mounted Infantry to Rawlingsville to try to communicate whit General Thomas' right. They failed in this, but destroyed a quite extensive niter-works in the vicinity, and captured 1 officer and 7 privates.
On Wednesday morning the enemy appeared in force on the rome road. Colonel Stone's brigade, First Division, moved out on the main road,a nd Colonels Oliver and Heath reconnoitered his position on the right with the cavalry force. A few shots were exchanged at long range, when the enemy retired slowly, and as their mounted force was evidently far superior to ours and increasing, I declined to order a pursuit. I commenced the return at 1 o'clock and arrived at the bridge at Larkin's Landing this evening, February 5.
The results of the expedition I considered important. many of the Home Guards, including 1 officer, have resumed their allegiance by taking the amnesty oath, and the always-loyal people of this part of Alabama have learned from the general good conduct of the men who their real friends are. My thanks are due to Major Wheaton and Captain Hotaling, of General Logan's staff, for willing and valuable assistance.
I am, sir, very respectfully,
MORGAN L. SMITH,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding Expedition.
Major R. R. TOWNES,
9 R R-VOLXXXII, PT I