CHAPEL HILL, March , 1863–10 p.m.
Lieut. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK,
Headquarters Shelbyville, Tenn.:
GENERAL: I send you all the information I have obtained since my last, at 4 o’clock. When my scouts left College Grove, at 4 p.m., they saw the enemy’s pickets standing on the hill at Dr. Webb’s place, south side of Harpeth Creek. When I left the vicinity of Eagleville this evening, two of my guides promised to remain in the vicinity all night, but they came in at 7 o’clock, and stated that the enemy were in Eagleville one hour after we left; but as they did not see them, I don’t consider it reliable. I have a reliable scout in the vicinity of the enemy, who have not yet returned.
I wish to make this explanation: I was ordered by General Bragg to report to you, and by you to report to General Wheeler. Afterward General Wheeler ordered me to report to Colonel Hagan, and by Colonel [J.] Hagan to keep up constant communication with Colonel Russell, at Unionville, of everything in my vicinity. I understood from that order that Colonel Russell would keep him advised, and that it was unnecessary for me to make any other report. I hope the above explanation will be satisfactory. Not having been instructed to report to you, I thought it might be a breach of etiquette to report otherwise than through my brigade commander. I would like very much to know what is considered to be [the duty] of an officer occupying my position [in front]. I have heretofore, for want of a knowledge of the [country], been unable to ascertain the object or strength [illegible (+)] of the enemy, except by skirmishing with and fighting [illegible(+) ], which I have done every chance, but so far [illegible (+)] no party of theirs I could cope with, and have to give back. Yet I am fully satisfied. We have punished them much worse than they have us, notwithstanding Colonel [J. M.] Warren ran into a party at College Grove and lost some thirty-odd of his men. (It was done by my order.)
I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. D. RODDEY,
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.–#3