immediately start a force in pursuit, and have made prisoners of many men of that character, as well as quite a number of regular Confederate officers and soldiers. The scouts have had several skirmishes, which have always, but in one instance, resulted favorably. A squad of thirty-two men under a lieutenant was sent out several days since as an escort for the telegraph repairer, to put up the line between here and Fort Donelson, and on their return was ambushed, resulting in the death of the telegraph repairer and several men wounded, one of whom will die. It is almost impossible to keep the telegraph wire between here and Fort Donelson in order, and I cannot rely upon it as a a safe means of communication, in view of which and the great importance of the line as a medium of correspondence between the posts, I respectfully ask that the wire be changed from the south to this side of Cumberland River, the work of a few days only, and attended with but little expense. Since my occupation of this post I have purchased and seized about 46,000 barrels of flour, all of which, except that portion consumed by the troops here, has been forwarded to Nashville. This is a fine section of the State for flour, and there are not less than twenty mills convenient to the post, and supposing it would be a matter of interest and convenience I respectfully ask if I had not better continue the purchase of flour here. Herewith I have the honor to transmit a report of a survey made of the Edgefield branch of the Bowling Green railroad. Owing to the reduction of my force and the military services they are now performing, I cannot at present take up the work of repairing the road. As soon, however, as possible I shall take the necessary steps. On the 29th instant I assumed command of the First Brigade, Third Division, Reserve Corps, consisting of the forces here and those at Fort Donelson. I have visited that post and inspected its condition, giving such orders as were necessary to increase the vigilance and effectiveness of the command.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. D. BRUCE,
Report of condition of trestle-work and bridges on the Edgefield Railroad.
CLARKSVILLE, TENN., July 28, 1863.
First trestle, near junction, is 50 feet long and 8 feet high. Red River bridge and trestle is 550 feet long; average height, 50 feet. First span of 150 feet is 90 feet high, which must be bridged. Likely two trestles can be used; the balance, 400 feet, can be trestled. Spring Creek trestle, 530 feet long and 56 feet high, mostly of old timber, but good. Sulphur Fork trestle, 400 feet long, 50 feet high; all can be trestled. No timbers good; stone-work all good. Springfield trestle, 300 feet long, is 35 feet high; simple trestling will do. Ridge Top trestle, 100 feet long and 30 feet high. Curve trestling, 500 feet long; average height, 30 feet. Timbers all destroyed. Three small bridges, each 50 feet in length, 8 feet high. Two trestle to each of them will be sufficient. Stone-work all good. A good supply of timber almost any place on the road. Several saw-mills on and near the railroad. Irons all good. Turn-table in good order. One tank to build and one to repair. Two engines and six cars belonging to the road.
I. C. MARTIN,
Lieutenant, 102nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry.