In view of the considerations I have presented, I must leave it to you, general, to decide what course is to be pursued. At present I am entirely unable to determine what can be done by Sturgis' cavalry. I am informed it is now scattered all over Kentucky and Sturgis gone north. I am making every effort to get it together and prepare it for service.
I have very little information about the enemy's force in Southwest Virginia, and am not able to judge whether cavalry alone would be able to penetrate to the railroad. If they did, it would probably be much more difficult to get back after they had accomplished the work assigned them.
I will write you more fully upon this matter as soon as I can get further information.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
MOTLEY'S FORD, TENN., February 22, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel J. S. FULLERTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Fourth Army Corps:
I send you this morning 28 prisoners; 15 of them are Indians who came in this morning and gave themselves up. They report that the rest of Thomas' Indians have laid down their arms and disbanded.
The result of the Murphy expedition, under command of Major Paine, First Wisconsin, is the capture of 33 men and 5 commissioned officers. I will send them to you to-morrow.
The scout sent up the Little Tennessee went within 20 miles of Franklin. They report none of Longstreet's forces moving in that direction. Thomas' force is at Franklin, and Vance's brigade at Asheville. No corn in that section. They marched 30 miles to get corn enough for 15 horses.
A scouting party of rebels, 40 strong, attacked the picket at Niter Ferry on the other side of the river this morning. Two detachments are in pursuit, and I think will catch some of them. I will not move any part of my command to Madisonville before tomorrow.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. M. MCCOOK,
HEADQUARTERS, Motley's Ford, Tenn., February 22, 1864.
Colonel A. P. CAMPBELL,
Commanding First Brigade:
The colonel commanding directs that you move your command to-morrow toward Madisonville, leaving sufficient guards at the fords near where you are now encamped and at the gaps through which the road up the Little Tennessee passes and the road to Murphy.
By command of Colonel E. M. McCook: