War of the Rebellion: Serial 030 Page 0242 KY.,MID. AND E.TENN.,N.ALA.,AND SW.VA. Chapter XXXII.

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HEADQUARTERS CENTER,

Camp on Edmondson Pike, December 26, 1862.

Colonel J. P. GARESCHE,

Chief of Staff;

COLONEL: I have just arrived from the direction of Brentwood, where I went to see how the troops were getting along. My headquarters are not as far advanced as I wished, but we met with so many obstructions in the trains that I thought best to halt here, and have a clear road in the morning. Please send me such orders as the general may wish to give as soon as possible, so that I can communicate them to Generals Negley and Rousseau early to-night.

Respectfully,

GEO. H. THOMAS,

Major-General U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,

December 26, 1862-9.20 p.m.

General GEORGE H. THOMAS:

Move Negley across to Stewartsborough, Rousseau to Nolensville, and Walker's brigade on Wilson pike. General McCook will move on Triune, and attack. Rousseau will be in position to support McCook, if the latter needs support; but that is thought doubtful. Walker will cover our flank.

If General McCook defeats Hardee, and he retreats toward Shelbyville, he will pursue him with one division, and move the other two on Murfreesborough. If Hardee retreats on Shelbyville without a fight, McCook will pursue with two divisions, and push the other on Murfreesborough. If he retreats on Murfreesborough, McCook will pursue with his whole force.

Crittenden will move on Stewart's Creek. If the enemy falls back on Murfreesborough, we will concentrate on him. Rousseau and Negley (Rousseau following) will take the old State road in that case, if, as the general believes, it is practicable.

By order of Major-General Rosecrans:

C. GODDARD,

Major and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,

Camp on Murfreesborough Pike, December 26, 1862-9.20 p.m.

General NEGLEY:

General Thomas has been instructed to order you to move on Stewartsborough to-morrow. Clear the road; take strong position in the vicinity of Stewartsborough, at a point to be selected by yourself. General Crittenden will move on Murfreesborough pike, and will be within supporting distance.

By order of Major-General Rosecrans:

C. GODDARD,

Major and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.