March 22, 1864.
Major R. M. SAWYER,
The following is just received:
I have just returned from Pikesville. General Forrest [left] Pikesville on the 17th instant, en route for Eastport. I heard dispatch read from General Forrest to Colonel Johnson, stating that he had his pontoon bridge ready to throw across the river above Eastport, and that his baggage-wagons wee loaded with corn, and that his intention is to attack the forces on the railroad somewhere above Athens, and that Roddey and Clanton will attack Decatur at the same time.
The Twenty-seventh, Twenty-first, and Thirty-fifth Alabama Infantry are at Moulton-Twenty-seventh, commanded by Colonel Jackson, 280 rank and file; Twenty-first, commanded by Colonel Pickett [?], 225 for duty; Thirty-fifth, commanded by Colonel Ives, 240 strong. Cavalry at Moulton, 1,200 strong, commanded by Colonel Johnson.
The above is from one of my most reliable scouts. The cavalry should be massed ready to meet Forrest west of us. I will take care of Decatur. There is no doubt that the above is the programme. We have to-day captured soldiers from Roddey's, Clanton's, and Forrest's commands.
G. M. DODGE,
NASHVILLE, March 22, 1864.
Major General J. B. McPHERSON,
General Sherman is in Cincinnati; he will be back in a day or two. I telegraphed him of your arrival. General Dodge telegraphs this morning that Colonel Phillips, of his command, met the enemy 3 miles south of Moulton, ala.-two regiments of infantry and 1,000 cavalry. Had a sharp fight and fell back.
Part of Forrest's command is between Tuscumbia and Eastport; some report he intends to strike Decatur, others that he is to cross the river, and that Lee, Forrest, and Jackson are all ordered up to-ward Tennessee River. I have telegraphed Admiral Porter and asked that the gun-boats keep a good lookout up the river. Will you please give such information as you may deem best in West Tennessee, as it may be that Columbus and Paducah are the points aimed at?
R. M. SAWYER,
HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Pulaski, Tenn., March 22, 1864.
Major GEORGE H. ESTABROOK,
Commanding 7th Ill. Inf., in Field near Lawrenceburg, Tenn.:
The following dispatch just received from General Dodge at Athens, viz:
Phillips had severe fight near Moulton yesterday. Forrest is between Tuscumbia and Eastport. Considerable force at Moulton and at Gadsden. Watch country to west. I suppose they will try to cross below Tuscumbia or else attack Decatur.