SCOTTSBOROUGH, January 12, 1864.
Brigadier General J. E. SMITH:
A torpedo was exploded under the track on the railroad to-day, without, however, doing any damage, save to the cross-ties. It, however, shows the necessity of a well-organized patrol guard being established as directed in previous orders. You will therefore at once cause the guard to be put on that part of the road assigned to you. Acknowledge receipt.
By order of Major-General Logan:
R. R. TOWNES,
HEADQUARTERS LEFT WING, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Pulaski, Tenn., January 12, 1864.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN,
Commanding Dept. and Army of the Tennessee, Memphis, Tenn.:
GENERAL: Everything along my lines is quiet. All my regiments have re-enlisted that could do so under the orders; and eight of them, with three batteries, have gone home. Seven more are now ready to go, and have been for some time, but the blockade north of Nashville has stopped all transportation of our troops. I hope it will be so we can begin to move them in a few days. Duck River bridge is all that we are waiting for to have our railroad running. Boomer is at work on it, but cold, stormy weather makes hard and slow work. The latest reliable news from south of the Tennessee is that Johnston is at Dalton, with not to exceed 25,000 or 30,000 effective men.
Wheeler's and Morgan's divisions of cavalry have been ordered back from East Tennessee. Martin's division lies at Cave Spring. Rome is occupied by State militia; also at Coosaville and Gadsden. Roddey is in the Tuscumbia and Russellville Valley, with not to exceed 1,600 effective men. We picked up a good many prisoners. Our stock is in excellent condition and we continue to live off of the country.
General Crook's cavalry division is here; a part has gone to West Tennessee. Some 600 head of stock that I had got together to send to General Logan I had to turn over to him. He came here with 1,500 dismounted men. What extra stock I get now, if any, I will send to General Logan. As my working parties finish up I will move them over them to the Huntsville road so as to get communication by cars this way to that point as soon as possible. If we could make a lodgment at Decatur it would give an outlet to a large number of Union people who are seeking our lines and who would join our Alabama regiments, and if Colonel Spencer's First Alabama Cavalry could be ordered to me, it would form a nucleus that would soon give us another mounted regiment.
I fear that there will be a disposition to keep our veterans north longer than the thirty days. I already see the efforts to have them remain there to recruit, &c. I trust General Grant will see that they are ordered back as soon as the thirty days expire, as my position will not be secure unless they commence to return by February 15. My long lines with weak force will be discovered, and if I should have