War of the Rebellion: Serial 058 Page 0215 Chapter XLIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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to Blue Mountain, in Jackson County. Now, general, the destruction of those coal sand iron mines, which virtually would renderer useless all the shops in Selma, is what I wish to call pretend to state the number of men necessary to accomplish this object nor how it should be executed. From my knowledge of the country and loculation of the mines and furnaces attached, I would, however, suggest that from 3,000 to 5,000 effective cavalry, under command of an experiences and dashing officer, leave Huntsville with at least four or six pieces of light artillery, cross the Tennessee River at Whitesburg, and take the direct wagon road through Summit to Blountsville, in Blount County (here there is stained two companies of rebel cavalry collecting conscripts); from there to Elyton, in Jefferson County (here their is one company of rebel cavalry and an iron mine and furnace blown up); form there to Montevallo, in Shelby County, distant from Huntsville about 125 miles. The coal mines are situated within a few miles of Montevallo. The working tools and machinery should be destroyed. The iron mine, furnaces, and rolling-mills are located near Columbian, the county seat; the most important works are there. All the machinery and buildings should be destroyed; 400 or 500 mules and wagons might also be captured. There is stored convenient to the mines a large quantity of corn, hay, an fodder, sufficient to feed all the stock required for the expedition. From Columbian a small force might be sent to Wilsonville, 10 miles, and destroy the long bridge of the Coosa River, on the Alabama and Tennessee Railroad; there is one company of conscripts guarding this bridge, who, instead of protecting it, will hail the approach of the destroying force. I do not hesitate to state that the approach of the destroying force. I do not hesitate to state taht this expedition could be planned and executed with success, and without loss, if done with boldness and dispatch; the officer in command should not, as on a former occasion, deliver up and surrender to an inferior force; he should fight, if necessary. The expedition could leave Huntsville and return in eight days without difficulty.

To insure success in this movement beyond doubt a faint demonstration should be made from Pensacola toward Pollard, the junction of the Montgomery and mobile Railroad. This would draw off General Clanton's cavalry, which otherwise might be sent to intercept the force form Huntsville. Selma itself, and all the Government works there, might be destroyed by extending this expedition from Montevallo, a distance of 65 miles, but if extended to Selam a detachment should strike on the Alabama River, capture one or two of the steam-boats on the river, proceed down to Selma, meet the main body,cross the river on the boats, destroy them, and make for Pensacola. The only force of rebels to interfere with this trip would be about 700 men at or near Pollard. Any quantity of corn, fodder, and provisions can be had on the railroad to Selma an in Selma, stored by the rebel Government under the taz-in-kind law. There are in Selma employed about 4,000 mechanics in the various works. I have mentioned they are mostly northern men and foreigners, compelled to work or be conscripted. I know personally the feelings of those mechanics, and can assure you there are not 250 among them who will not hail with shouts, and instead of defending will join the Federal force. If the movement to Selma should be adopted it would be well to make a demonstration on Mobile by the fleet to draw any scattering forces there. Mobile has only about