War of the Rebellion: Serial 030 Page 0383 Chapter XXXII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS FOURTEENTH ARMY CORPS, DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Murfreesborough, Tenn., March 12, 1863.

Major General W. S. ROSECRANS,

Comdg. Dept. of the Cumberland, Murfreesborough, Tenn.:

GENERAL: Your note of yesterday has just been received. On the evening of the 30th of December you came with a portion of your staff to where I had made my headquarters during that day, and after inquiry as to the position of my troops and my dispositions for the night, we then mounted our horses and rode in the direction of your headquarters tents, during which time you explained to me in substance that McCook's corps was to engage the enemy's attention and hold him in his front the next day (the 31st), whilst our left, supported by the center, was to attack and crush the enemy's right. I did not ride up to your tent that evening, but called there the next morning (the 31st) before the battle commenced.

Respectfully, &c.,

GEO. H. THOMAS,

Major-General U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY, March 14, 1863.

Major General W. S. ROSECRANS,

Commanding Army of the Cumberland:

GENERAL: On the night of the 30th of December I visited your headquarters, in company with Major-General McCook and Captain Williams, assistant adjutant-general, at about 10 p. m. There were at that time no general officers present, excepting yourself, General McCook, and myself. I heard you give to General McCook his instructions, and afterward General McCook and myself discussed them on our way back to our commands. I remember these instructions thus far: That General McCook was to attack the enemy in the morning with vigor, but mainly with a view to engage him whilst Crittenden's corps marched upon Murfreesborough. If the enemy attacked McCook's corps, he was to contest the ground, and refuse to engage his right flank, as far as possible. None of these instructions were addressed to me, as I had just received instructions to collect a cavalry force and march to La Vergne, for the purpose of protecting our trains. I did not hear all the conversation between yourself and General McCook. I was sitting outside the tent part of the time. General McCook was at headquarters. We left your tent about 10.30 p.m. I cannot now remember that the part Thomas' corps was to perform was explained; if so, I do not now remember it.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. S. STANLEY,

Brigadier-General, Chief of Cavalry.