BAILEY'S SPRINGS, ALA.,
April 18, 1864-5.30 p.m.
Captain J. W. BARNES,
SIR: I have this moment received a communication from you, dated April 17, which the courier informs me left your office this morning at 7 o'clock.
The citizen (Thompson) whom I sent to the south of the river a few days since has just returned. He went from Tuscumbia to La Grange, Ala., he reports that Jackson's command (Twenty-seventh and Thirty-fifth Alabama Mounted Infantry), with Moreland's and Wines' [Warren's?] battalions of cavalry, in all about 1,200 men, moved from Russellville, Ala., on Saturday morning. They reported that they were going to bring on an engagement at Decatur. Everything has left the Valley of Tuscumbia but Colonel Williams' [?] battalion (cavalry), who are stationed at Tuscumbia and patrolling the river assisted by a great many citizens. He could not hear anything of Forrest, but refugees reported him near Memphis on Thursday last. My scouts have not yet returned from Clifton.
I have the honor to remain, sir, you obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS LEFT WING, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Athens, Ala., April 20, 1864
Lieutenant Colonel WILLIAM T. CLARK,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Huntsville, Ala.:
COLONEL: I send you the reports from Florence and Decatur to-day, which will give you a pretty good idea of matters. I am not afraid of any attack by the force they have in our front as yet. It appears to me that they mean something else. I watch the river very closely and try to keep posted on all additional forces that arrive in our front. It is possible that they may concentrate on this flank when Johnston moves, if he does, so as to prevent any movement from this quarter. Dispatches received this noon show that part of their forces, say two regiments, are encamped on west side of Flint. All the force they have this side of the mountains is in and around Decatur, covering all approaches. I think I will connect our works with regular entrenchments with basket or gabion revetments. If this meets the approval of the general please let me know. The works as laid out around Decatur have some grave faults. They were thrown up by green hands while I was on my back. In putting up entrenchments I will try to rectify these mistakes as much as possible. The angles of rifle-pits are all salient now. I will change that and other errors.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. M. DODGE,