HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Chattanooga, February 7, 1864.
Brigadier General JOHN A. RAWLINS,
Chief of Staff, Nashville:
Information received from scout as follows: Two companies of home guards in each county-De Kalb and Cherokee, Ala. In Cherokee County four companies Third Confederate Cavalry, which, with Roddey's force, makes nearly 2,000. This force under Roddey made attack on U. S. forces at Lebanon, De Kalb County, last Wednesday morning. Rebels were repulsed in confusion and retreated toward Gadsden, Ala. Reported that Wheeler is on his way to re-enforce Roddey. U. S. forces fell back to Sand Mountain; took possession of saltpeter cave near Fort Paine, and captured a number of rebels.
Fifteen days since twenty-eight pieces of artillery were moved from Dalton to Rome. The infantry is to be mounted on artillery horses, and this, with all the cavalry, is to form junction with Longstreet and raid through Tennessee and Kentucky.
Morgan was to assume command of his cavalry on 3rd instant and raid through Middle Tennessee and come out at Stevenson or Tullahoma. There are 53 engines on Western and Atlantic Railroad and 400 box cars.
The outer railroad depot on Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad took fire and burned down at 3 o'clock this morning. Loss, the building and 20,000 overcoats. Nearly everything else saved.
I have sent a reconnaissance in direction of Dalton to-day; not yet returned. Cars running as far as Cleveland.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Brandon, Miss., February 7, 1864.
COLONEL: You will move your command promptly at 6 o'clock to-morrow morning on the road to Morton Station. Dash out boldly, keeping flankers well out on your left to watch all the roads leading from the direction of Canton to Morton. If the enemy is marching from Canton to Morton he will undoubtedly have his cavalry feeling down toward the road we are marching on to find out where we are; hence the importance of great vigilance on our left flank. I desire you to keep well in advance of our left front to-morrow, and keep me frequently advised of what you may see or lean. The infantry will follow rapidly, as we propose to make a march of from 17 to 20 miles to-morrow.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. B. MCPHERSON,
February 7, 1864.
Commanding Brigade of Cavalry:
SIR: I send a regiment to take charge of your train and bring it in to this point in all haste. You will turn over your train to this