HEADQUARTERS POLK'S CORPS, In the Field, before Chattanooga, September 27, 1863.
Care of the Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
MY DEAR GENERAL: General Longstreet informs me he was written you on the subject of coming to our help in the West. Allow me to unite with him in an earnest appeal to you to give us the benefit of your skill and judgment and experience at this most important crisis. We have gained a signal victory under God's blessing over our enemy, but I greatly fear we are about to lose the fruits of it for want of the necessary capacity to reap them. I speak advisedly, and after a very familiar acquaintance with the mind and character of the officer commanding this army, when I say we must have a charge before any permanent success can be had in this region. The eyes of all would look to you could you come. Longstreet thinks that you can without serious detriment to the interests of the army of Virginia, leaving it in the hands of one of your well-trained lieutenants. If both armies were driven back to the Mississippi, and Tennessee-not to say Kentucky-freed, and we on Grant's line of communications and in connection with the trans-Mississippi army, we might, by moving south, make short work of the army of the latter.
May I not then, general, again beg you to give this matter your respectful and serious attention, and see whether, as a question of duty to our suffering command, it be not proper for you to come over and help us.
I have the honor to be, general, very truly, yours,
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS,
Near Georgetown, September 27, 1863.
I. Colonel W. C. P. Breckinridge, commanding Ninth Kentucky Cavalry, will relieve Colonel W. B. Wade, Eighth Confederate Cavalry, now picketing the gaps from Nickajack Gap to the left of our army.
II. Colonel W. B. Wade, on being relieved from picket duty by Colonel Breckinridge, will report with his regiment to General Will T. Martin, commanding cavalry division.
By order of Major-General Wheeler:
E. S. BURFORD,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
CARTER'S DEPOT, TENN., September 27, 1863.
His Excellency President DAVIS,
The enemy left here last evening; burned the bridge and block-houses.