Morton. I knew nothing of matters in that direction except from information received from him, except that I understand that Hood was at La Fayette the statement of this officer appears to be probable, inasmuch as he states the exact hour at which Hood's army was at Deer Head Cove and Dug Gap. Lieutenant-Colonel Sharra telegraphs me from Larkinsville, soon after receipt of first telegram, as follows:
Commander of gun-boat General Thomas, says he is satisfied the information he has in regard to Hood's army is reliable, and requests that your order all the gun-boats up from down the river.
Gun-boats have all gone up the river. My last scout to Blountsville not yet heard from. I will order additional scouts from Larkinsville over the river, and will keep the general informed of all that occurs in this neighborhood. I will telegraph to Huntsville for Berry, an excellent scout, to be again sent over the river. I have ordered scouts from Athens and Pulaski west.
R. S. GRANGER,
DECATUR, October 17, 1864.
Five deserters from the Eleventh Tennessee, Hood's army, arrived here to-day. Deserted on the 2d, twenty miles from Marietta. They estimate Hood's army at 30,000 infantry, number of cavalry not known. Hood commands in person. Many desertions. Mrs. Gill, sister of Colonel, Wilder, form Somerville, to-day reports no enemy there. Forrest's whereabouts not known. Scout just in from Courtland left there at 2 this morning. General Roddey was at Moulton sick; he has 100 of his body guard there. His command moves from Tuscumbia to Courtland to-day. There are 400 men at Spring Creek and 300 at Fox Union woman, in whom Colonel Doolittle puts entire confidence, sends in the following, just received:
I heard last evening the rebels were ordered to prepare five days' rations. It was thought they would cross the river last night. The Southern papers state that Forrest has command of Tennessee and Kentucky.
R. S. GRANGER,
TEN MILES EAST OF FLORENCE, October 17, 1864.
Have found no rebels except a scouting party of forty. No force above Florence yesterday. Will send beyond there to-day. I desire the Ninth and Tenth Indiana to take post on the Athens and Florence road, at the crossing of Elk River, and guard the river from Lamb's Ferry to Decatur, establishing a courier-line from Athens to Rogersville. Colonel Spalding desires to come with the tenth and Twelfth Tennessee Cavalry from Pulaski, and I request that you permit him. The river is not fordable, but is falling rapidly. I think an order from you to the Ninth and Tenth Indiana would expedite matters very much.
JOHN T. CROXTON,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers.