returned to the mouth of Estill's Fork, taking and paroling several prisoners during the day. On the morning of the 9th I divided my command, sending two companies and my scouts up Estill's Fork road to Salem, and thinking the force we had encountered near Nashville might be following to observe our movements, I thought to intercept his advance by moving back to the mouth of Larkin's Fork. Not finding him, I took the Larkin's Fork road to Salem. The detachment sent up Estill's Fork captured two armed men, and in company with a notorious bushwhacker named Woods, who, being mounted on a feet horse succeeded in escaping. I returned to camp on the evening of the 9th, having marched about 120 miles.
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding 123rd Illinois.
[Colonel J. T. WILDER.]
AUGUST 7-8, 1863.-Reconnaissance from Fayetteville, Tenn., to Athens, Ala.
Report of Colonel Louis D. Watkins, Sixth Kentucky Cavalry, commanding brigade.
HDQRS. THIRD BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION CAVALRY,
Fayetteville, Tenn., August 9, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report than in obedience to an order form Colonel E. M. McCook, commanding First Cavalry Division, I left Fayetteville with the Fifth and Sixth Kentucky Cavalry on the morning of Friday, August 7, at 4 o'clock, taking the road to Athens, Ala. After marching twenty-five miles I halted my command and unsaddled and fed the horses and rested about two hours. At 2,30 p. m. I resumed the march and arrived at Athens, thirteen miles from where I fed, a few minutes before 6 o'clock. I found no rebels there. There had been thirty there the dy previous, but they left during the night of 6th instant on account of hearing that there was a Federal force at Huntsville (so citizens reported). They were then looking for conscripts. I remained in the town during the night, the horses saddled and men lying on their arms. At about 9 o'clock five men rode up to my pickets on the Decatur road, and upon being halted turned and fled, when the pickets fired at them several times, however without effect. We supposed that they were a portion of the conscripting party who were coming in, not knowing of our having possession of the town. I left Athens next morning (8th) at daylight, and moved out on the Fayetteville road about five miles, where I halted the column, unsaddled and fed the horses, and rested about two hours and a half, when I moved out and marched on steadily, halting occasionally to rest, and arrived at camp at about 12 o'clock lasting night (8th). I found no stock or anything else worth seizing on the road except two beef-cattle, which I brought in.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
I am, captain, your obedient servant,
LOIUS D. WATKINS,
Colonel, Commanding Third Brigade, First Division Cavalry.
Captain JOHN PRATT,
Assistant Adjutant-General, First Cavalry Division.