War of the Rebellion: Serial 076 Page 0565 Chapter L. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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were tearing up track and tearing down the wires. Under the superintendence of Mr. Hoxie they commenced repairing the track, but seeing the enemy on two different roads, appearing that they were to cut off their retreat, Colonel Byrd deemed it prudent to fall back on Loudon. He says there is nothing certain about their numbers, but the rumors among the citizens are that there are over 3,000. Scouts of Colonel Patterson, on Madisonville and Tellico roads, report no enemy, and all think it improbable that the enemy have moved toward Maryville. Colonel Byrd wants to move down toward Athens to-morrow morning, but he wants 100 or 200 additional men from this place. Hoxie, railroad superintendent, wishes to run down a construction train early to repair the road so that the train can go through on time. Please see General Tillson and send instructions immediately. The rebels completely gutted Athens. No news of train from Chattanooga., Rumors at Athens of fighting at Charleston. Shall I come back with the men I brought down, or send them and remain myself? All think if they intend attacking Loudon it will be to-morrow at daylight.

N. A. REED,

Aide-de-Camp.

LOUDON, August 17, 1864-8.55 p. m.

Captain AMMEN:

The following from Colonel Byrd, Charleston:

From all the information there is about 3,000 or 4,000, with eighth pieces of artillery, and they say they are coming to Loudon. Train left Charleston at 6 o'clock. Shall I come up on it or not?

N. A. REED,

Aide-de-Camp.

CHARLESTON, August 17, 1864.

Captain W. R. AMMEN:

They left Benton last night and crossed the river, going in the direction of Athens, is the latest that is reliable.

M. B. EWING.

CHARLESTON, August 17, 1864.

Captain W. P. AMMEN:

Assistant Adjutant-General:

The latest is that a large force, reported at from 4,000 to 5,000, going in the direction of Athens.

M. B. EWING.

CLEVELAND, August 17, 1864.

Captain W. P. AMMEN,

Assistant Adjutant-general:

The last report come from Lieutenant-Colonel Ewing, at Charleston, who telegraphs that Lieutenant Marshman, Second Ohio Heavy Artillery, had just arrived from Athens and reported Wheeler there with 5,000 men and six pieces of artillery. They seem to be on a foraging expedition, and avoid all places where troops are.

H. G. GIBSON,

Colonel Second Ohio Heavy Artillery.