GRAY'S MILLS, October 20, 1864 - 4 p. m.
Chief of Cavalry, Department of the Cumberland:
(Care of General Sherman.)
GENERAL: I have headed the rebel cavalry at this point on the Sweet Water. The entire force, so far as I can learn, is moving off toward Villa Rica. My scouting parties are will in on all the roads to Van Wert, Villa Rica, and Carrollton. I can hear nothing of the rebel army. A staff officer will await further instructions at Marietta.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
Gaylesville, October 20, 1864.
Lieutenant-Colonel CLARK, Assistant Adjutant-General:
I have the honor to report that, in charge of scouts, I found the enemy's pickets on the WEST bank of Little River about noon. I crossed the river, and with Garrard's advance pursued the enemy about one mile, a short distance beyond the road leading to the iron-works. I learned from a citizen that Hood's wagon train crossed the Coosa at Edwards' Ferry, and that his army was moving in the direction of Gadsden, on the north side of the Coosa.
Captain, Commanding Escort.
Major-General SHERMAN, Commanding Military DIVISION:
GENERAL: Citizens report that the bridge on which the wagon train crossed at Edwards' Ferry was taken up and put down across Little River for the infantry to pass.
O. O. HOWARD,
HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE CAVALRY DIVISION,
Gaylesville, Ala., October 20, 1864 - 10. 50 a. m.
GENERAL: I have reached Gaylesville without seeing any enemy. Found General Garrard passing through. Citizens all along the road say the rebel army is all moving to Blue Pond.
LOUIS D. WATKINS,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT, AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE, Numbers 142. Gaylesville, Ala., October 20, 1864.
* * * * * * *
V. In accordance with Special Field Orders, Numbers 99,* Military DIVISION of the Mississippi, copy herewith inclosed, this army will advance to-morrow and take up position on the main Alabama road, some four or five miles in the direction of Blue Pond.
* See p. 369.