Furnishing the command at Whitesburg with ammunition, we again got under way and carefully examined every stream along the north bank of Seven-Mile Island. We halted a short time opposite Guntersville, at 2 a. m. of the 14th, and then passed to Roman's Ferry, where I gleaned from citizens that 1,500 cavalry had passed southwestwardly from Lebanon on Saturday, in the direction of Gadsden. All their information tended toward a concentration westward of Gadsden.
At Larkin's Landing I was informed by Lieutenant-Colonel Coleman that after we had passed down the river, the day before (the 13th), three regiments of rebel cavalry passed from near Lebanon for the direction of Guntersville.
At Bellefonte was stationed the Nineteenth Indiana, * but no pickets were found along the river. A party I sent ashore in front of that place took several prisoners, one a member of Captain Smith's company of cavalry. He fled and was fired upon before taken. He stated that of our forces at Claysville, 2 men were killed, 1 wounded, and 37 taken prisoners. Of the rebels, 2 were killed and 5 wounded, 1 of whom was Captain Smith.
At various points along the north side of the river I communicated with the citizens, and instructed them as to what is required of them. In addition to the statement regarding the movements of the enemy tendered me, and rendered in this report, I gelated from most reliable and intelligent sources, the parties having peculiar advantages for getting information, and who furnished it from personal knowledge, that 1,000 of Roddey's men arrived at Hendrixville, Ala., on Saturday evening last, were there joined by 1,000 more of the same on Sunday evening, and on Tuesday at daybreak the entire force started off on the Guntersville road. They stated they were to be followed by another brigade on Tuesday evening. Six pieces of artillery left Collinsville on Tuesday morning, going westward.
Following the cavalry, my informant learned from officers that this force had intended to attack the forces at Larkin's Landing, destroy the pontoon bridge, and then go to Decature of aggressive operations. They received some news supposed by him to be adverse to their plans, held a consultation and relinquished the design, giving as a reason that the roughness of the roads would preclude its being carried successfully into effect. They then took the road to Warrenton, leaving Guntersville 4 miles to the right, and by way of the Somerville road to Pontague Valley, and then by a river road they moved to near Triana.
All the forces lately moving toward Gadsden have collected about the Blue Mountain in the vicinity of Jacksonville, Calhoun County, to feed their stock, there being large supplies of corn through that section, and visibly to protect the Montevallo Railroad from Selma to Jacksonville, which they think we design attempting to take. They are kept informed of our movements through bodies kept moving on the river route. These statements are corroborative of a movement of the enemy's forces by way of Warrenton and toward Somerville, which had been going on for some days previously. This preparation to oppose us also revealed their point of concentration.
Upon the return trip the repeated appearance of hostile groups necessitated the men being under arms as upon the outward Journey. We reached this station at 2 o'clock this morning.
*A mistake. The Nineteenth was in the Army of the Potomac. It was probably the One hundredth Indiana.