TULLAHOME, October 1, 1864-4 p. m.
Have preferred to send you the dispatches received without giving an opinion, except where I had outside matters to corroborate or contradict; most of the dispatches and reports I have considered worthless, though I felt it my duty to send them to you. I wish I could report what the real state of affairs is. I have given, from time to time, pretty much all the information I have received. My opinion is that there is no force of any size near Mount Pleasant. Biffle may be there or some other small force. I think the efforts of the secessionists are to create a stampede by magnifying the rebel forces. There is no force at or about Mount Pleasant, unless re-enforcements for Forrest, and no rebel infantry this side of the Tennessee as I believe. I believe there is no force on this side of the Tennessee except Forrest's, and that he has not or will not divide it, reports to the contrary notwithstanding, except to send out small parties of 200 or 300. He has shown no dash since his repluse at Pulaski; in fact, he has done no great things in the way of fighting in this raid, having met little less than negro troops whose character he well understands, and who were equally acquainted with him. I shall telegraph to the commanders on the Alabama railroad to keep cool and not allow themselves to be stampeded by the false reports of the rebels, and I think you need not fear that they will stampede. The reports of Colonel Sipes and operator at Spring Hill, &c., are doubtless based upon the appearance of small parties of rebels, and I do not rely on them. It is very probable that there are a few hundred men in those localities, but no large force. Since writing the above Major Polk telegraphs me that the telegraph is not working south of Franklin, and the Nashville operator says there was a heavy force near Spring Hill, which may be any number from 25 to 500 men. I am satisfied that detachments are trying to destroy the Alabama road and I think it certain that Forrest himself will try the same thing with his entire force.
L. H. ROUSSEAU,
TULLAHOMA, October 1, 1864-6. 30 p. m.
Major Waters, Fifth Tennessee Cavalry, just returned from a scout to Mulberry Village, twenty-one miles from this place and on Fayetteville road. He says on the evening of the 29th Forrest left the Fayetteville road fifteen miles from this place, taking the Columbia road, intending to strike the Alabama railroad at some point between Columbia and Franklin, with about half of his force, without artillery, owing to the bad roads; the balance of his force went down the New Market road, and on the left of Huntsville, taking artillery and wagons with them. He thinks this information reliable and I suppose it is. This corroborates Major Polk's dispatch in regard to force at Spring Hill, which I herewith forward:
Colonel Park, at Franklin, says in a telegram just received that he is satisfied that there is a large rebel force at Spring Hill, and that the forces there may be relied on. I have telegraphed him that it is not possible for Forrest's force to be there, as it is at or near Huntsville.
B. H. POLK,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
L. H. ROUSSEAU,