War of the Rebellion: Serial 079 Page 0545 Chapter LI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

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troops ready at all times to do so should it become necessary. Have you men enough at Athens to defend that place, as you reported this morning, against 10,000 men? You must look out for the crossing of Elk River bridge on the Florence road, and see that it is thoroughly obstructed and defended.

GEO. H. THOMAS,

Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.

DECATUR, ALA., October 31, 1864-5 p. m.

Major-General THOMAS:

Dispatch from General Croxton to Colonel Spalding speaks of the enemy's cavalry and no mention of his infantry. It may yet be doubtful if the infantry has crossed the river. Drums were heard yesterday morning in the direction of Brown's Ferry. Runaway negro says Hood was at Courtland yesterday, and that he (the negro) left a force at Brown's Ferry. All I know about the enemy's crossing is what General Croxton reports.

R. S. GRANGER,

Brigadier-General.

DECATUR, ALA., October 31, 1864-5. 10 p. m.

Major-General THOMAS:

It is not possible for me to get a command to Elk River Ford; there is no bridge there. The enemy's cavalry were there at 12 m. to-day. I suggested to General Stanley this morning to send a force there. The road is obstructed. I have not been able to get transportation. I have ordered the troops at Athens to leave there and march to this place.

R. S. GRANGER,

Brigadier-General.

DECATUR, ALA., October 31, 1864-5. 15 p. m.

Major-General THOMAS:

Athens can be held against 10,000 men with two batteries for three days. I have, however, at the suggestion of General Stanley, ordered it to be abandoned. I cannot conceive that it is of importance. General Stanley having gone, it is now without rations and none can be gotten there. General Stanley has taken all intended for the garrison.

R. S. GRANGER,

Brigadier-General.

NASHVILLE, TENN., October 31, 1864-5. 30 p. m.

Brigadier General R. S. GRANGER,

Decatur:

Your dispatch of this 3. p. m. is received. I wish you to send your garrison that was ordered from that place back there against at once.

GEO. H. THOMAS,

Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.

35 R R-VOL XXXIX, PT III