work which was of importance, I deemed it most expeditions to send Colonel Coburn, whose command was compact and ready to move. Sending for the colonel, therefore, I placed the telegram in his hands, and directed him to move out in the morning and perform the service therein prescribed. I discussed with him freely the whole movement, its object and the degree of discretion allowed him, and the danger to which his command might be exposed by the want of co-operation upon the part of the forces to his left. All these points were most fully discussed, and appeared to be fully understood by him.
Accompanying this are copies of some official communications which have a bearing on this matter.
Numbers 1. The telegraphic order directing the movement to be made.
Numbers 2. My order organizing the command and putting it in motion.
Numbers 3. Colonel Coburn's first note to me.
Numbers 4. Colonel Coburn's second note to me.
Numbers 5. Colonel Coburn's third and last note to me.
Numbers 6. Captain Johnston's report.
Numbers 7. Colonel Jordan's report.*
Captain Johnston was sent out by me to look around and bring information back. Being a man of cool judgment, I sent him out for that purpose, as some of the flying reports were wild and extravagant.
I had discussed the movement so fully with Colonel Coburn that I had but little occasion to correspond with him after he set out. The only note I wrote him I have no copy of; its substance was to approve of his sending his wagons back, and to remind him that he had quite a large margin and a wide discretion.
During the 5th, I had no correspondence with him, and did not hear from him until I heard of the defeat of his command.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. C. GILBERT,
Brigadier General A. BAIRD,
Commanding Third Division, Army of the Kentucky.
[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
FRANKLIN, TENN., March 3, 1863.
Brigadier General C. C. GILBERT:
The general commanding directs you to send a brigade and a sufficient cavalry force to-morrow on the Columbia pike as far as Spring Hill. Send out a party from there toward Columbia, and one through to Raleigh Springs, on the Lewisburg pike. A cavalry force from here will communicate with your party at that place some time during the day after to-morrow. We desire to know what is in our front. Take a forage train along. Have you any news?
J. A. GARFIELD,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.
[Inclosure Numbers 2.]
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES FORCES,
In Camp, near Franklin, Tenn., March 3, 1863.
* * * * * *
VI. Colonel Coburn, with his brigade and battery and 600 cavalry, will to-morrow morning, at 8 o'clock, proceed along the Columbia pike
*See Numbers 4, p. 79.