HDQRS. DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
Woodland, May 19, 1864 1.15 a. m.
Brig. Gen. Brigadier General Kenner Garrard,
Commanding Cavalry Division:
GENERAL: Send a detachment of 100 men to Rome and to hunt up Brigadier-General Davis division. If Rome is in our possession or evacuated scour the country west of Barnsley Creek as far as the Oostanaula for prisoners, deserters, wagons, horses, &c. With the balance of your command and a section of artillery, but no wagons, move at 7 o clock on the point of the Etowah River about two miles west of Kingston, just below the mouth of Connesena Creek, where a bridge or ferry is represented; then on the other bridges and ferries supposed to be south of Kingston, and as far east as the road leading from the Saltpeter Cave to Euharlee Mills, and as much farther as you think you can accomplish anything, trying at all these points to make captures and boats if possible.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant.
JAS. B. McPHERSON,
Major- General, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND CAVALRY DIVISION,
Moss Bank Bridge, May 19, 1864 9.30 p. m.
ADJUTANT-GENERAL ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE:
SIR: I have the honor to report that I reached this bridge in time to secure it. I have sent mounted forces on all the roads leading from this place in the direction of Cassville and Saltpeter Cave, and could discover no indication of the enemy attempting to come this way. The works at Saltpeter Cave are extensive and in good running condition. The bridge at this point is an excellent covered one. From the best in formation I have, there is no bridge less than ten miles from here up the river, and there is no road leading off the Cassville road to that bridge within four miles of this point. The party that went to Rome has returned; they found General Davis in possession of the town. He captured few stores, except corn and tobacco, also a rolling-mill. All the railroad rolling-stock had been taken away. The party on its return up the bank of the Etowah River drew the picket-fire of the enemy most of the way up the river to Kingston.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
[Jonathan Beacher’s note: searched extensively for a Moss Bank Bridge or landmark Moss along the Etowah River in historic records and the 1864 Union map of the river bridges and cannot find a landmark of this name. Since this is the only time Moss Bank Bridge is mentioned in any Union or historic records, and Garrard mentions it on May 19th when he captured Gillem’s Bridge, my conclusion is that is the bridge in question.]