War of the Rebellion: Serial 079 Page 0522 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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DECATUR, ALA., October 30, 1864-10. 40 p. m.

Major-General THOMAS:

Dispatch dated 30th, 4 p. m., east bank, mouth of Elk River, just received, says enemy has been seen in small squads on south side of Tennessee; no attempt to cross. Late dispatch from Elk River, on Athens road, says

Heavy cannonading heard at Florence. It commenced at 6 p. m. and is very heavy.

THOMAS G. WILLIAMSON,

Major Tenth Indiana Cavalry.

R. S. GRANGER,

Brigadier-General.

(Same to General Rousseau.)

DECATUR, ALA., October 30, 1864-11. 45 p. m.

Major-General THOMAS:

The order for Colonel O'Dowd to reoccupy Athens did not reach him until he was half way to this place. The telegraph operator at Athens left with the troops. The couriers from this place for some reason did not reach him until late. I have halted him there I can hear from you to know whether he is to reoccupy Athens or not. I have heard nothing recently from the enemy. My scout is in from Brown's Ferry, but brings no additional news. There is a cavalry command opposite to Whitesburg from 400 to 600 strong, with four pieces of artillery. They fired on the gun-boat this evening coming down. Trains with troops are now on the road between Stevenson and Huntsville.

R. S. GRANGER,

Brigadier-General.

DECATUR, October 30, 1864.

Major-General STEEDMAN:

A very smart colored boy, whom I know, belonging to the Ninth Ohio Cavalry, and who was made prisoner during Major-General Rousseau's expedition, and has been employed at General Hood's headquarters during this whole expedition, came into camp this morning, having made his escape, gives the following as what he heard General Hood and General Beauregard say: He said they had determined upon an attack on this place, before leaving Palmetto, Ga., and were to pass from here into Middle Tennessee, where they designed to winter. If they failed to take Decatur they would go to Corinth, where they could best supply their army through the winter. They wanted the pontoon bridge and this place as a base of supplies. It is a remarkable fact, that with eight pieces of artillery within easy range of the bridge, and our men crossing it continually they never once fired on it. Hood, he says, was in favor of continuing the siege and assaulting the works, but Beauregard determined upon Friday that it was not practicable. The enemy, I am almost satisfied, has made no effort to cross this side the mouth of Elk River, and as my couriers communicate with General Croxton at that point I do not think Hood has made any serious attempt at crossing below here up to this time. This boy positively asserts that he heard Hood say they had lost 1,000 in killed and wounded alone at this