War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0695 Chapter LI. NORTH Georgia AND NORTH ALABAMA.

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ence, and the main portion of the enemy near Tuscumbia. Citizens also reported Dick Taylor with 10,000 men at Bear Creek. All the information it was possible to obtain through the most efficient and reliable scouts indicated a large increase of force on the south side of the river, and an evident intention on the part of the Confederate leaders to attack this place. Feeling the great importance of Decatur to the Confederates, as an objective point, and being satisfied that General Hood would attack it in force, I telegraphed the general commanding asking for re-enforcements of 2,000 infantry and, if possible, 1,000 cavalry. My garrison at this time consisted of the One hundred and second Ohio Infantry, Eighteenth Michigan Infantry, Tenth Indiana and Second Tennessee Cavalry, Battery A, First Tennessee Light Artillery, Battery F, First Ohio Light Artillery, and Battery D, Second Illinois Light Artillery, in all 1,500 effective men. I had also upon the line of railroad from Athens to Stevenson the Seventy-THIRD Indiana Infantry, Thirteenth Wisconsin Veteran Volunteer Infantry, and parts of the Eleventh, Twelfth, and Thirteenth Indiana Cavalry. I had also upon the river two companies of the Thirteenth Wisconsin Veteran Volunteer Infantry at Whitesburg, another at Claysville, and one company of the Seventy-THIRD Indiana at Triana. As the holding of the road was of vital importance, I could withdraw only a small portion of the above-named forces for concentration upon any threatened point. I was able from these scattered forces to gather only 300 men to re-enforce Decatur, giving me here not to exceed 1,800 men. With this small force I was obliged to man a line of works with a continuous front of 1,600 yards, exclusive of the river. In this estimation of my forces it will be remembered that I do not take into consideration the troops between Pulaski and Nashville, fully 2,000 effective men entirely cut off from me, and whom (during the several demonstration of the enemy upon my district) I have not been able to control. I had prior to this time (by order of the general commanding) established a strong picket- post at Brown's Ferry, and was thoroughly patrolling the river from that point to Decatur, and above this point it was being patrolled as thoroughly as possible by the gun-boats General Thomas and Stone River. On the 24th the commanding officer at Whitesburg reported 15,000 of General Hood's army at Long Hollow, twenty miles from the river, and that they were intending to cross at different points between Paint Rock and Decatur. I telegraphed this to the general commanding, and the same evening sent 250 infantry on gun-boat Stone River to Whitesburg, with instructions to land opposite that point and scout the country thoroughly for six or eight miles out. Fully believing, however, that it was not the intention of the enemy to make any serious attempt to cross the river above Decatur, and that he was moving upon this place as rapidly as the state of the roads would permit, I again sent to the general commanding an earnest request that strong re-enforcements be immediately sent me, and received a telegram from General Thomas notifying me that the Twenty-ninth Michigan Infantry had been ordered to report to me for duty. On the 25th I requested the general commanding to send me 1,000 men from Colonel Sipes' command at Columbia, but the general was unable to send them, and forwarded positive information that Hood's army was marching toward Somerville. I again, at 7 p. m. the same day, requested that 2,000 men, in addition to the Twenty-ninth Michigan, be sent to this post. On the afternoon of the 25th I took a train for Huntsville to look after the defenses of the road from that point and make such disposition as I could with my limited com-