After the command crossed the State line detachments were sent on all the roads. The country both sides of the Hiwassee, from Taylor's Ferry to Suddorth's Ford [distance 28 miles], from Murphy up the Valley River [12 miles], and from Suddorth's Ford to Fort Hembree [10 miles], was thoroughly examined.
Roads generally good, but very mountainous. No forage from Tellico Plains until you reach Suddorth's Ford. Here there is not to exceed 600 bushels of corn within a circuit of 5 miles. Roughness quite abundant. From Suddorth's to Fort Hembree forage is not plenty. The country is very broken; has been thickly settled, but the houses are now mostly abandoned. The Hiwassee is fordable in several places along the route. There is no organized armed force in that vicinity.
The command was absent six days, during which we captured 28 men, 5 officers, 15 mules, and 4 horses. We met with no loss.
I remain, colonel, your obedient servant,
Major, First Wisconsin Cavalry.
Colonel O. H. LA GRANGE,
Commanding Second Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST WISCONSIN CAVALRY, Motley's Ford, E. Tenn., February 23, 1864.
COLONEL: In obedience to your orders I proceeded with 250 men toward Murphy, N. C., 17th instant.
I fed at Tellico Plains, took two feeds of corn, and went to the foot of Long Ridge, 10 miles beyond Tellico Plains, where I camped for the night.
The next morning I started with the command at 5 a.m. Four miles from this point a road branches off to Taylor's Ferry, on the Hiwassee River. Captain Jones, First Wisconsin, took this road with 50 men, with orders to go up the south bank of the Hiwassee and join us at Suddorth's Ford, 7 miles beyond Murphy.
When within 10 miles of Murphy, I directed Captain Kessler to take 50 men, go direct to Murphy and to Suddorth's Ford; to halt at that point for the rest of the command to come up. I took the remaining 150 men, bore off to the left, crossing Beaver Dam Creek and Valley River, and reaching Suddorth's the same night. I sent a lieutenant and 20 men from Beaver Dam and Valley River to Suddorth's, via Murphy.
I sent Captain Kneeland with 30 men up the Valley River to a point 12 miles above Murphy.
The next morning Captain Comstock, First Wisconsin, took 50 men and went 1 1/2 miles above Fort Hempbree, on the Hiwassee.
At 7 o'clock this evening, the 19th instant, the detachment being all collected and having three feeds of corn shelled, the command started and marched 14 miles toward the Tennessee line.
The following day we marched 18 miles, and camped for the night at Cocoa Creek.
The next day, 21st instant, we marched 13 miles, and camped 3 miles beyond Tellico Plains.
The next day, 22nd instant, I reached camp with 33 rebel prisoners, including 5 officers; also 15 mules and 4 horses. Forage and provisions were very scarce along the route.
At Suddorth's we left a large quantity of roughness and a few hundred bushels of corn.