War of the Rebellion: Serial 034 Page 0618 Chapter XXXV. KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

Numbers 102. Notes of Lieutenant W. B. Richmond, aide-de-camp to Lieutenant-General Polk, on movement of the Army of Tennessee from Tullahoma to Chattanooga, June 26-July 7, 1863.*

FRIDAY, June 26, 1863.

The commanding general having learned that the enemy had withdrawn his forces from Franklin, Triune, and all other points, and relieved even the trains of all guards, for the purpose of concentrating on Murfreesborough all available strength, and to make a formal movement; and it having been learned also that his right was in front of Liberty Gap and threatening that position, while his right extended to the right of Hoover's Gap, General Brag sent for General Polk this afternoon to hold a conference in regard to the situation of affairs.

General Bragg wished General Polk to move his corps out to Guy's Gap, on the Murfreesborough pike, that night, and by daylight next morning to move to the right and assail the enemy before Liberty Gap in flank and rear, it being understood that Hardee would press him from the east side at the same time. Owing to the character of the country, the heavy cedar growth, and the peculiar topography, the general objected, considering the position he was about being thrown in nothing short of a man-trap. General Bragg having later in the day learned that Hardee had been warmly engaged with a good part of his command, sent General Polk the following note:

SHELBYVILLE, June 26, 1863-5 p. m.

Lieutenant-General POLK, Present:

By note an hour since I informed you that the movement proposed for to-morrow was abandoned. The reason is this: At 2 p. m. the enemy, with a force supposed to be as large as Hardee's corps, was turning the left of General Stewart, stationed between Fairfield and Hoover's Gap. Under this statement the general wishes your judgment as to whether it be possible to hold a line this side of Tullahoma, to strike the enemy successfully this side of Tullahoma, or is a retreat to Tullahoma a necessity?

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. W. MACKALL,

Chief of Staff.

At a late hour it was discovered that Stewart's right had also been turned, and a movement to Tullahoma became imperative. At 11 p. m. the general received orders to move his command at the earliest practicable hour next morning to Tullahoma, and at once issued the following order to Generals Cheatham and Withers:

HEADQUARTERS POLK'S CORPS, ARMY OF TENNESSEE,

Shelbyville, June 26, 1863-11.30 p. m.

Major-General CHEATHAM, Commanding Division:

GENERAL: The lieutenant-general commanding directs that you move your division from its present position to Tullahoma by the Schoefner Bridge and Rowesville road, turning to the right at Rowesville. Let the movement be commenced at the earliest hour possible to-morrow morning.

Respectfully, general, your obedient servant,

THOMAS M. JACK,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS POLK'S CORPS, ARMY OF TENNESSEE,

Shelbyville, June 26, 1863-11.30 p. m.

Major-General WITHERS, Commanding Division:

GENERAL: The lieutenant-general commanding directs that you move your division

---------------

*Found among the Polk papers.

---------------