command was brigaded; Colonel Harrison assigned to the First Brigade and Colonel Hamilton to the Second, but this organization was changed in a day or two, and Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick assigned to the command of the Second Brigade on account of the very small number of officers in Colonel Hamilton's regiment, which rendered it necessary to give his personal attention to it. Captain Alfred Mathias, Fifth Iowa Cavalry, was appointed provost-marshal; Lieutenant Frey, of the Ninth Ohio, and Lieutenant Langdon, of the Fifth Iowa, were appointed quartermaster and assistant quartermaster, and Doctor Waterman, of the Eighth Indiana, was appointed surgeon for the expedition. I took with me Captain T. C. Wiliams, Nineteenth U. S. Infantry, as assistant adjutant-general; Captain Ed. Ruger, Thirteenth Wisconsin Infantry, as topographical engineer, and Captain T. A. Elkin, Fifth Kentucky Cavalry, as aide-de-camp. The regiments designated for the expedition did not all reach Decatur until the evening of the 9th of July. Orders were given to be in readiness to start next morning, but owing to difficulty in getting the pack train ready the command was not prepared to move until 1 o'clock on the 10th. Taking the direction indicated in the instructions received from Major-General Sherman, I proceeded to Somerville, seventeen miles from Decatur, and halted for the night. Crossing Sand Mountain on the 11th and passing through Bluntsville and over Strait Mountain on the 12th, I halted the main command at night five miles from Ashville, sending Captain Thomas A. Elkin, of my staff, and Major Stephens, with the Fourth Tennessee Cavalry, forward to that place to secure any supplies the enemy might have stored there. They took possession of the town and found a sufficient supply of corn for the animals of the command; and also a quantity of commissary stores, which were issued to the men next day.
On the evening of the 13th I reached the Coosa River at Greensport, and found a ferry-boat on the opposite side which was secured and brought over by a detail of men who, under the directions of Captain Elkin, swam across for that purpose. I immediately ordered a squad of sharpshooters to be placed in some buildings on the opposite side of the river, and a detachment of 200 men to be thrown across to protect the crossing at the ferry and at the ford at Ten Islands, four miles below, as I had information that a small force of rebels was on that side of the river. A portion of the eighth Indiana Cavalry, under commanded of Major Graham, was accordingly sent by Colonel Harrison, and effected a crossing without opposition. Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick was also ordered to cross the artillery forming a part of his brigade, which was accomplished in the night, and the command bivouacked until morning. Before reaching the river, the rear of the column was fired into by a party of guerrillas, and I regret to say that Cap. William Curl, an efficient officer of the Fifth Iowa Cavalry, was killed, and Captain J. C. Wilcox, of the same regiment, severely, but not dangerously, wounded. I here ordered a thorough inspection of the command to be made, and about 300 horses being reported in unfit condition for the service required, they were sent, together with the ineffective men, to Guntersville, forty miles distant, at which point the detachment crossed the Tennessee River, and reached our lines in safety. The effective force of the command was now reduced to less than 2,300 men.
On the morning of the 14th I proceed with the main body of the command to cross at a ford at Ten Islands, four miles below