War of the Rebellion: Serial 023 Page 0444 KY., M. AND E. TENN., N. ALA, AND SW. VA.

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[CHAP. XXVIII.

HEADQUARTERS,

Decherd, August 29, 1862.

General McCOOK:

I do not apprehend that it will be impossible for you to subsist for a short time on the mountains. Six days' half rations start for you to-day. You will get your next supply from McMinnville if you remain so long.

In case the enemy should advance in such force that you cannot successfully resist him you will fall back slowly toward Beech Grove by Hubbard's Cove, which is the one I pointed out to you, or else by the way of Hillsborough and Manchester. Communicate your movements to all the columns. I have advanced Crittenden and your artillery to Hillsborough to facilitate our concentration at any desirable point. You must by some means ascertain definitely in regard to the positive strength and movements of the enemy.

Colonel Harris says he had a message from White yesterday, who said that most of Bragg's forces had crossed Walden's Ridge into the valley and that they are fortifying at Dunlap. Ascertain the truth. Report in cipher daily.

Harris evacuated Battle Creek safely after ten hours' bombardment, bringing all the stores he had transportation for.

D. C. BUELL.

HEADQUARTERS,

Decherd, August 29, 1862.

General McCOOK:

A wagon train started at 8.30 this morning with 21,000 rations for your division. It will, I fear, not be able to join you before to-morrow. You must judge whether you can get it up the mountain in time not to interfere with your movements, whatever they may be. While it is of the greatest importance that as much time should be gained as possible, yet it is also important that you should not become engaged if it can be avoided without endangering the troops in front. You must endeavor to keep a day's march between you and the enemy.

Perhaps it will be as well for you to march by the way of Pelham and Manchester, unless you can easily get upon the other road and it is in such condition as not to impede your progress. Report to Thomas, Schoepf, Crittenden, and to me the very moment you find it necessary to retire. Let that not be sooner than necessary, but yet not so late as to involve you. If you can retard the enemy by demonstrations do so by all means. Blockade your road wherever you go, and by some means strengthen your position every night. Keep a strong pioneer party in the front. Provisions will be placed at Manchester, so that you can renew your supply. Prudence, energy, fortitude, and courage are the qualities required now.

D. C. BUELL.

COLUMBIA, August 29, 1862.

General Mitchell has nine regiments of infantry and sixteen guns; total, 5,200 men. General Morgan's brigade has six regiments and two