north. Forrest may go up on south side of the Elk River to Tullahoma. Have ordered a force to follow and ascertain his intention. Loss yesterday a little larger than first reported. The enemy's loss not less than 200. We think he will strike for the other road, for he has repeatedly declared his intention to be to opearate on Sherman's rear. To resist him successfully we must have more cavalry. He has five brigades and several batteries. Show to Miller and Polk.
L. H. ROUSSEAU,
General J. D. WEBSTER.
FRANKLIN, TENN., September 29, 1864.
Forrest struck the road, destroying it thoroughly from Athens to within a few miles of Pulaski. The defense of Athens and Sulphur Branch trestle was very poor, as I am informed. I am satisfied that Forrest will not leave till he has thoroughly destroyed the railroad unless killed or captured. His force is an effective one and amounts to at least 6,000 or 7,000 men, with a proper proportion of artillery. Cavalry alone is certain against him, and that should be in such force as to be secure from defeat. He can march away from infantry and can fight or not as best suits his purpose. At Nashville I will probably get the Ninth Ohio Cavalry. Telegraph me at Nashville. My reason for sending the cavalry across was to enable me to unite my force promptly. Once in his rear he could hold my force with part of his while he destroyed the railroad with the balance. In consequence of the scarcity of roads in the country I could not well head him off. As you know the steps taken, please give me full instructions. I have about 3,000 cavalry. I am sure Forrest will return to this road unless defeated or hard pressed from the other. I heard nothing from you until 3. 30 this a. m. I am moving infantry on railroad; left Pulaski 4. 30 last evening. I am unavoidably delayed by the slowness of trains. Will push forward as rapidly as possible. Forrest took Fayetteville road. It is believed that he will strike Chattanooga road at Duck or Elk River bridges.
L. H. ROUSSEAU,
Major General G. H. THOMAS.
TULLAHOMA, September 30, 1864.
Forrest struck the road at Athens and destroyed it to within a few miles of Pulaski, where I repulsed him on the 27th instant. An officer formerly of my staff, now a citizen, was captured by Forrest at Athens. While with the rebels he saw twenty-four pieces of artillery, and estimates his force at 8,000. Forrest is here to stay unless driven back and routed by a superior cavalry force. Infantry can cause him to change camp but cannot drive him out of the State. Forrest's movements are much more cautious than formerly. He has attacked no place held by white men, but every post held by colored troops has been taken, and his destruction of railroad was most thorough. Cavalry is wanted. I have here abut 3,000, not enough to fight him without support. There is more than a raid; I regard it as a formidable invasion, the object of which is to destroy our lines, and he will surely do it unless met by a large cavalry force and killed, captured,