River, 4 miles from Morristown, and 18 miles from Mossy Creek. His entire strength is 30,000 infantry and twenty-five pieces of artillery. They are under momentarily marching orders; intention, retreat through Bull's Gap. The army is in miserable condition, 50 per cent, barefooted; provisions very scarce; go three or four days on one day's rations.
General Buckner's command is at Rheatown, 1 1/2 miles from Morristown; on the railroad; has thrown up temporary line of breast-works; has re-enforced the cavalry in our front with two brigades of infantry and battery of artillery.
Zollicoffer bridge is completed, and have just commenced the bridge at Carter's Depot. One brigade of infantry and battery of artillery sent to guard gap at Paint Rock.
The enemy's pickets can be seen from north side of Holston River.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. H. MILLER,
Lieutenant, Commanding Scouts.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST CAVALRY DIVISION,
January 2, 1864.
Respectfully forwarded for the information of the general commanding.
The information with regard to the position of the enemy's force along Holston River the scout gained by personal observation; the rest of the information was communicated by rebel pickets, who supposed him to be one of their soldiers.
E. M. McCOOK,
Colonel, Commanding Division.
HEADQUARTERS ELEVENTH AN TWELFTH CORPS,
Lookout Valley, Tenn., January 1, 1864.
Brigadier General M. M. MEIGS,
Quartermaster-General U. S. Army:
On the morning of your departure from Lookout you may remember a brief conversation we held in regard to Muscle Shoals. Subjoined is all the information I have on the subject, and which I believe you will find to be authentic:
Muscle Shoals is an extensive series of rapids, the water on which rises 1 inch when it rises 1 foot at Bridgeport, and in that proportion 1 inch there to 1 foot here. The rapids are 20 miles long, fall 100 feet. In 1830 the citizens of Tuscumbia originated the old Tuscumbia, Courtland and Decatur Railroad, 45 miles long, around the shoals. This road was completed in 1834, and in 1852 was incorporated in the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. The head of, or rather foot of, navigation from here is Brown's Ferry, 12 miles below Decatur, which is 83 miles from Stevenson by railroad. A canal was once built around the shoals, but it has been abandoned, and has fallen into disuse, if, indeed, it ever was of much use.
From the foregoing it appears that the rapids are about 20 miles long, and that they have been turned by a canal on the north bank, which would indicate, in case it should not be deemed advisable to repair it, that its banks would admit of the ready constructions of a railroad. The most detailed map I have examined, the official one of the State of Alabama, also warrants this conclusion. I can see no mount-