Left Montgomery March 27; nothing there.
Left Atlanta March 28; considerable number of troops there, all State troops. General Morgan, with his command, left on the 26th, going northeast; was going up to Longstreet's army; said to have 6,00 men, all mounted.
Left Atlanta March 28; went to Rome, Ga. General Brown's brigade at Rome; very small force, not to exceed 1,500; men are at work on battery, covering the crossing of the Oostenaula. Passed twenty-ne cars leaded with pontoon bridges at Kingston, going to Dalton. They also had a large amount of pontoons at Atlanta, and were building them there and at Selma and Demopolis. Johnston has about 45,000 men all told, infantry, cavalry, and artillery; most of his army, say 35,000, is at and about Dalton. It is the general impression that Johnston is getting ready to move. He has a considerable stock of provisions on hand ready. Johnston keeps his lines closed; allows no persons in or out. It is the general talk that Grant has taken a large force from our front to Washington.
The movement on our right at Decatur, &c., they are watching closely; have a courier line to Rome, and do not know what to make of it. Went back from Rome to West Point, Ga. Left there April 2; came up across the Blue Mountains; left there April 3. At that point Martin's division of cavalry had just arrived to recruit, and moved 15 miles south; also three batteries that had been stationed there to recruit had gone to the front. Few cavalry left at Gadsden.
Clanton left Saturday; crossed the mountains at Summit, thence Oleander, thence to Whitesburg, thence to Flint River, where he was this morning. Our mounted forces were skirmishing with him at font River.
Johnston's army is in good spirits, and at all other points despondent. They do not increase the army by the conscript act very much. It is the general belief that Sherman intends to turn their left by way of Coosa Valley, but it is the general rumor that Johnston intends to turn our left. They believe Thomas has only a small force; that Grant is accumulating some 250,000 men in front of Richmond, and has weakened Sherman to do it.
At Rome the scout saw an assistant quartermaster who was collecting 1,000 artillery horses, and he aside Johnston was about ready; that he had 1,000 wagons loaded with commissary stores. The scout also says that it was talked generally that Forrest was to cross on our right, Morgan on our left, and break our communications. Morgan, Forrest, and S. D. Lee were in consultation at Columbus, Miss., just before Forrest moved north; this was from March 12 to 15.
So far as what the scout saw that report is reliable, and he is a shrewd observer and one of my best men. He gives the rumors as he heard them. All the talk of officers was that Johnston intends to take the initiative. All furloughs have been stopped; no troops since March 11 of any account have moved either east or west. Johnston's army is fed almost entirely from Southern Alabama, and a large amount of produce goes from Southwest Georgia to Lee's army. Stores in considerable quantities are accumulated at Atlanta and Marietta, and a good deal of corn is brought from South Alabama to Blue Mountain over Selma and Rome Railroad. The scout says everything north of Atlanta is virtually skinned, and the road he traveled from West Point to Blue Mountains is very poor, and the