War of the Rebellion: Serial 023 Page 0370 KY.,M. AND E. TENN.,N. ALA.,AND SW. VA. Chapter XXVIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

Your marches should be as rapid as possible, without injury to the efficiency of the command, say about 15 miles a day. The general desires that no disorders or depredations be committed, and that your division may be found at any and every movement well in hand and ready for action.

Report your position and progress as often as practicable. The prescribed line of march and your destination should be kept to yourself.

General Davis' division will follow you on a part of the route.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES B. FRY,

Colonel and Chief of Staff.

P. S.-A communication is sent by bearer for the commanding officer of Davis' division, which you will please forward promptly and by safe escort, and send back the cavalry which bears this to you.

JAMES B. FRY,

Colonel and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE OHIO, Huntsville, August 19, 1862.

Brigadier General L. H. ROUSSEAU,

Commanding Third Division:

SIR: The general commanding directs as follows in relation to your command:

One brigade of your division, with Kennett's cavalry and one battery of artillery, will occupy Huntsville. The other brigade will be posted as follows: One regiment and field battery at Stevenson; one regiment and field battery at Decherd; one regiment and field battery at Battle Creek; one regiment bridge guards between Huntsville and Stevenson.

You will also have command, when necessary, of all troops on both lines of railroad from Huntsville to Nashville. Those on the Decatur and Nashville road are more immediately under the command of Brigadier-General Negley. General Smith is assigned to the Seventeenth Brigade and to the more immediate charge of the bridge guards, which he has orders to visit frequently.

You will hold your command in readiness at all times to move in any direction. As it is possible that when the main army advances the enemy may come upon our rear in such force as to make it impossible to hold such extended lines, you will be prepared for such an emergency. The Decatur line in such an emergency will be the first abandoned; next the Athens line as far as Decherd. A determined effort will be made to hold Huntsville, Stevenson, Battle Creek, and the railroad. If the force at Battle Creek and Stevenson should be forced to retire, they should, if possible, go directly to Decherd, which point it may be very important to hold for the sake of the road north; but they should be well assured of being able to make that Junction, otherwise they should fall back on this place, bringing with them all road guards. In that case the road guards between Stevenson and Decherd should fall back at once to Decherd. If Decherd should be seriously threatened you must re-enforce it, even to the extent of the whole force at Huntsville. If Decherd should be forced, you must, if your force is sufficient, endeavor to retake it. If not, and it is not retaken by the army in front, it will be necessary for the whole force from Battle Creek to this point to fall back toward Nashville, probably by Elkton and Pulaski, but always making a stand wherever it can be done with advantage.

These suggestions suppose an advance of the enemy which cannot be resisted with any prospect of success, but a determined resistance is always to be made when there is any hope of success.

A command should never surrender. It should, if the post is important, resist whenever sucess is possible, and even when it is not, if the safety of the main body requires it; and if not, it should fall back if the attacking force is overwhelming. These are points which it is important that you should study thoroughly, and I have entire confidence in your courage and ability to meet every emergency.

The minor details of your command I do not touch upon. Of course you will hus-