War of the Rebellion: Serial 079 Page 0141 Chapter LI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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therein. I will immediately move to Florence with my command. I will be there this evening. Unless everybody is false, most, if not all, of Forrest's command is one the other side of the Tennessee. Forrest himself left Florence on the 5th, at about 2 p. m. I drove two regiments of his rear guard (cavalry) from my camp yesterday through Florence. I have but 150 mounted men. I am here by direct orders of Major - General Thomas.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. D. MORGAN,

Brigadier - General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,

Nashville, October 7, 1864 - 10 p. m.

Brigadier - General MORGAN,

Athens:

Dispatch received. The major - general commanding directs that you remain with your command at Athens until further orders are sent you.

ROBT. H. RAMSEY,

Assistant Adjutant - General.

PULASKI, October 7, 1864.

Major - General THOMAS,

Commanding:

My courier sent to General Rousseau yesterday has just returned, bringing the following dispatch:

BLUE WATER, ON MILITARY ROAD, EIGHTEEN MILES NORTH OF FLORENCE,

October 7, 1864 - 5 a. m.

Major - General THOMAS;

It began rain on Tuesday at 12 m. and continued to rain heavily for twenty hours, rendering the roads almost impassabe, hence we have made but about twenty-six miles a day since by very hard marching. Our artillery stock is much exchausted; the roads are better today and we hope to get on. General Johnson, with the cavalry, is three miles south of me. General Croxton, with his brigade, nine miles south of here at Shoal Creek. He reports that citizens say that fighting was heard on the Florence and Athens road yesterday morning. [This is also just reported here by two of my scouts who have just returned from that direction. Must be General Morgan, whom I reported skirmishing when my last courier left him. - Starkweather.] That the enemy had left florence, going on the Waterloo road, and that a rebel regiment left Shoal Creek yesterday morning before day. I directed General Johnson at 10 last night that if General Croxton's information was positive and reliable to send hin on the near way to Waterloo, at 12 o'clock last night, to join General Washburn's forces, believing the enemy were going to attack Washburn, telling General Johnson that General Steedman and myself, with the infantry and artillery, would follow him at daylight this morning, and to report. I have not heard form him since. It's yet dark and very foggy and we wait for light to start. Received dispatches from General Starkweather last night saying One hundred and twenty-fifth Illionos had returned to Athens, announcing that General Morgan's forces had crossed Elk River, having left Athens on the 4th instant. It's reported and contradicted that Buford had crossed the Tennessee. Forrest staid here in person night before last and must be this side of the river. We hope to find him today. If he should make his escape across the river, I trust you will allow us to pursue him across the river and on until we catch him, and destroy the railroad down in the direction of Meridian, and threatening Columbus, Miss., or Selma., Ala., or both, making a diversion in favor of the front and drawing off Wheeler from Steedman'd district. With General Morgan's DIVISION and Washburn's cavalry this could be done without the slightest risk, I do believe. I beg to be allowed to pay back the enemy for all the trouble they have given and damage they