very large. They have Decatur strongly fortified and a good pontoon bridge across the river. The railroad is used at present to supply their army at Chattanooga, and General Dodge's army is supplied chiefly by wagons. They have no hard bread no hand, or but very little.
The bearer of this informs me that Rodey with all his force is at Hillsborough, 9 miles form Decatur, and Clanton at Danville.
S. W. FERGUSON,
DEMOPOLIS, April 24, 1864.
Officer commanding troops of General Forrest at Okolona:
I have ordered General Chalmers, with the brigade he has with him, to the Yazoo River to co-operate with General Wirt Adams against a movement of the enemy going up that river. Order Chalmers' other brigade ot move so as to join him passing by Lexington; instruct its commander to send forward a courier to find out where been ordered ot join General Chalmers. Let the movement be made promptly. Answer.
HEADQUARTERS LEE'S CAVALRY, Tuscaloosa, April 24, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel T. M. JACK,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Demopolis:
COLONEL: I have the honor to inclose a copy of a letter* from one of my staff, Major Jones, form near Decatur.
The major knows every one in the Tennessee Valley, and I consider his report reliable. From all the information I can gather, it ia my opinion that the occupation of Decatur is merely to secure the supplies into Chattanooga, and also to give them a threatening point to prevent your sending re-enforcements to Johnston. I do not think any move is intended now, as the enemy are quite deliberate in their occupation of the country north of the Tennessee River. It will, however, be necessary to keep a force in his vicinity, as the enemy could readily cross at Decatur and move with their cavalry on Selma. They do not seem to be accumulating stores in the vicinity of Decatur, their object being to guard well the railroads leading from Nashville to Chattanooga. I think, colonel, the enemy can be anticipated by a cavalry raid into Middle Tennessee from this department. The enemy seem quite nervous about the fords. A force of 30,000 is reported in the vicinity of Nashville, apparently waiting the opening of the campaign. I will have the fords examined need hope to be able to