War of the Rebellion: Serial 023 Page 0368 KY.,M. AND E. TENN.,N. ALA.,AND SW. VA. Chapter XXVIII.

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to enforce the conscription; also that Nelson was expected that way. I will hear also to-morrow. I send this man back at 3 a. m. in the morning.



HEADQUARTERS, Huntsville, August 19, [1862].

General McCOOK, Battle Creek:

Hold your command in readiness to march to-morrow. See that your redoubt is occupied and that everything is in proper condition for defense. General Schoepf, who is at Pelham, reports the enemy in the mountains 21 miles from him. Can yo get any information from that quarter?


HEADQUARTERS, Huntsville, August 19, [1862].

General McCOOK:

The general commanding issues for your guidance the following instructions, viz:

The purpose is to advance against the enemy if it can be done with any prospect of success. If he advances against us, to fight him to the best advantage and to the last extremity. We must of course concentrate on him whenever we can. The enemy may advance on us by crossing the river at or above Chattanooga and entering the Sequatchie Valley through several passes, the nearest practicable one being the Anderson. If he does so we must concentrate and attack him in that valley, and, if possible as he debouches into it, or he may advance through Sparta or McMinnville. In that case we must concentrate and fight him there. Whichever may be the real point of attack it is probable that a demonstration would be made at the other, and it should be watched. In an advance from Chattanooga Battle Creek and Decherd would probably be the points of attack; and, as when the attack was made it would be impossible from the topography of the country for these two points to assist each other, we must not receive the attack there.

On becoming, therefore, satisfied of the advance of the enemy you will move promptly up the Sequatchie Valley on the north side to about the Anderson road, leaving a garrison for the redoubt you have thrown up at Battle Creek, and choose a strong position, so as to have free communication with McMinnville by the anderson road and resist the advance until the other divisions come up.

Thomas is at McMinnville in command. He would advance either by the Dunlap or Therman road. The column at Decherd would advance by Tracy City and the Therman road. If you should be compelled to fall back, do so by the Therman road or the Higginbottom road, and take a position to threaten the enemy if he should move on Battle Creek, or to form a junction with the other troops at Tracy City and oppose an advance on Decherd. Falling in that, you would march on Hillsborough, Manchester, Beech Grove, and Murfreesborough, of course halting wherever a further junction of forces or other circumstances would enable us to make a stand. Our supplies would be on the railroad, and of course every effort should be made to keep the enemy from that until the supplies were withdrawn, if not entirely.

If it should happen that you were not in time to take your position in the valley and were not strong enough to advance and attack you would not await an attack in your present position, but leave a small force there, not exceeding a brigade, and move at once to form a junction with the force at Decherd or Tracy City, as the case may be, leaving also a small force on that road as near as possible to Battle Creek, say at the ford, to assist in repelling the attack on Battle Creek.

These matters should be studied thoroughly in connection with the map by yourself and by your brigadiers, so that if such emergencies should by any possibility arise they may be well understood. The details of an advance can be considered more in detail at another time, but you may as well have your mind on the matter now.