I have also information from Mitchellsville that one-half of my train is now detained at that point, awaiting supplies from Louisville.
I am, respectfully, &c.,
A. McD. McCOOK,
GALLATIN, November 12, 1862.
Arrived here to-day. The first division is here, except one brigade at the tunnel. Have not heard from Dumont, but expect a courier to-night. General Fry will send troops on the road between this and Louisville Junction to-morrow. Where is Crittenden and the cavalry? I would like to know, to be enabled to 'dispose of the troops here to the best advantage.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
HDQRS. FOURTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Nashville, Tenn., November 12, 1862.
I. In establishing courier lines, a commissioned officer must be placed in charge of each line, who will be held strictly responsible that the line is kept in perfect order. He will habitually be at the station of most importance, but will frequently ride the whole length of his line to see that it is in order. He will collect all information that may affect the movements and subsistence of troops, and make a written report of the same to the chief of courier lines at these headquarters. This report will embrace information as to what roads and by-paths cross and branch from the line and at what point, where and how far they extend, and the nature of the road; also the name of any prominent points and individuals on the line, and their distance from one of its extremities. He will report upon the forage, what kind and at what points it can be delivered on the road. These report will be made as soon as possible after the line is established.
II. The stations will be from 4 to 6 miles apart, according to circumstances, and there should never be less than 6 men at a station. At each station there will always be kept 2 horses saddled, ready to move at a moment's notice, with no extra articles on the saddle to impede their movements. The other horses can be groomed and fed whilst the two are saddled. Courier stations will answer the purpose of vedettes on the road on which they are established, always keeping themselves on the alert, and never suffering themselves to be captured. If a capture is inevitable, the dispatch must be destroyed. When a courier is bearing a dispatch, he must move at a fast gallop to the first station on his road, hand the dispatch immediately to the courier ready to move at that station, who will proceed like the one before him. If marked immediate and important, he must move at half the speed of the horse. They will then walk their horses back to the station from which they started. An officer or non-commissioned officer will be at each end of the line to receipt for dispatches.
III. Courier stations will always pick up stragglers and forward them to nearest general headquarters. This order is imperative.
IV. Couriers will never receive orders from any person except the officer placed immediately over them. If strangers, they must give the most satisfactory evidence of their authority to give them orders.