send a more satisfactory report as to the enemy across the river and toward Nashville soon. The valley of the Tennessee is said to be nearly exhausted. I send several other reports.
I am, colonel, yours, respectfully,
S. D. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS LORING'S DIVISION, Montevallo, Ala., April 24, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel THOMAS M. JACK,
COLONEL: I sent Captain Thomas, an officer of my staff, into Northern Alabama soon after my arrival here; he returned yesterday. After traveling the road by way of Blountsville to Danville or Houston, the headquarters of Roddey and Clanton, he went as near Decatur as was possible, and came back by the way of Day's Gap and Elyton.
The only enemy he could hear of was that at Decatur, on both sides of the Tennessee River, estimated from the best information he could obtain about 10,000.
He does not think it possible for a force, however small, to support itself between this and the Tennessee on any of the roads leading here; the country is barren and desolate, and the people suffering for supplies. It was difficult to subsist himself taking that way in a raid upon Rome. If our forces are expected to operate against a raid in that direction, would it not be advisable to throw some supplies to Talladega or some other place on the railroad above here, as there is none to be had for either man or horse? Their moving to Decatur instead of Whitesburg, which is 10 miles by a good turnpike from Huntsville and 20 by land from Decatur, or to Guntersville, 30 miles from Huntsville and 50 from decatur, both places on the river and on the line of march to rome, would make it appear that it was not their intention ot go there.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. W. LORING,
HEADQUARTERS FORREST'S CAVALRY, Jackson, April 24, 1864.
GENERAL: The general commanding directs me to say you will fiend inclosed copy of dispatch received from Colonel Neely, giving movements of the enemy. The general commanding directs that you will order Colonel McCulloch's brigade, with the exception of the one regiment ordered to be left ot scout between Waterford and Memphis, to proceed to Grenada with his ordnance and wagon trains, provided the enemy are not moving on you form Memphis.
The general commanidng directs that you will obtain a field re-