War of the Rebellion: Serial 023 Page 0410 KY., M. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA.

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[CHAP. XXVIII.

HEADQUARTERS,

Decherd, August 24, 1862.

General THOMAS, McMinnville:

In advancing to Altamont take the Hickory Creek road instead of the Therman; that will put you on a shorter line of retreat on Murfreesborough by the way of Manchester and bring us nearer together. Start your trains for Murfreesborough at once with the least escort that will possibly suffice, say one regiment and battery, and let it go through in thirty-six hours. In the event of any reverse which makes it necessary for the whole force to fall back do so by Manchester and Beech Grove, making a stand to check the enemy whenever it can be done with advantage. Keep your telegraph open until the last minute and after that communicate frequently by couriers. It is very desirable at least that we shall reach the enemy at the same time if possible. McCook can I think get there by 12 o'clock day after to-morrow.

D. C. BUELL.

HEADQUARTERS,

Decherd, August 24, 1862-3.30 a.m.

General THOMAS, McMinnville:

McCook is ordered to be at Pelham to-night. In case you should hear that the enemy had concentrated in superior force at Altamont you must force yourself through to Hillsborough to-night. If on the other hand you have reason to believe that he is not in too great force push through and attack him to-morrow morning.

McCook will have a long and rough road, but Schoepf and Sill can be up. In case you fail fall back on Hillsborough or Manchester. Report all your movements by courier. I shall be with Schoepf.

D. C. BUELL.

HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, ARMY OF THE OHIO,

McMinnville, August 24, 1862.

General BUELL, Decherd:

A reconnoitering party under Major Laughlin, First Ohio Cavalry, sent by me toward Pikeville day before yesterday, has just returned, Major Laughlin reports that he encountered the enemy's advance scouts at Spencer and gained reliable intelligence from one or two citizens that a force of 2,000 or 3,000 infantry and some artillery was then at Pikeville, and that the enemy intended advancing on this place by two or three routes. A party sent out last night on the Chattanooga road report the enemy's pickets at Beersheba and a force behind in Sequatchie Valley. I have been delayed until this time waiting for the return of compliance with your last orders. General Wood's division will be at the foot of the mountain, if not at the Pass, to-night.

GEO. H. THOMAS,

Major-General, U. S. Volunteers.

DECHERD, August 24, 1862.

Major-General THOMAS:

Have you any further information? Is it not possible to get something definite?

D. C. BUELL.