HDQRS. WITHERS’ DIV., POLK’S CORPS, ARMY OF TENN.,
Six and a half miles from Shelbyville, March 8, 1863—-8 p.m.
Maj. THOMAS M. JACK,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Polk’s Corps:
MAJOR: After remaining for hours to-day at Rover, the command has returned to the camp of last night. While at Rover, reconnaissances to the front, 2 miles beyond Eagleville, to the left, on the Chapel Hill and Triune road, and to the right, up in the direction of Salem, were made without encountering the enemy. He had moved on yesterday morning (Sheridan’s and Steedman’s brigades) to the north side of Harpeth River, near Triune.
A dispatch from General Van Dorn (which I sent you) was received, confirming my determination not to move the infantry farther to the front; therefore the return to this place. One brigade will be left here in the morning, and the other two will return to their camps. Will you order General Deas to return also; that is, if it meets the approval of the lieutenant-general commanding? Although the prime object of this move has not been achieved, for the reason that the enemy had left the vicinity of Chapel Hill before we left Shelbyville, yet I hope it has not been entirely fruitless. Having been early apprised of the move, the enemy retired beyond reach to a line farther in his rear than any he has occupied for more than a month. This evening he is not in Middleton, Versailles, or Eagleville. He will doubtless, however, reoccupy those places to-morrow. The inadequacy of the cavalry force in this front will enable him to do this without hinderance from us.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME XXIII/2 [S# 35]
Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations In Kentucky, Middle And East Tennessee, North Alabama, And Southwest Virginia, From January 21 To August 10, 1863.
CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE. ETC.–#2