Monday, June 29, 1863, at 6 a. m., General Polk received the following:
HEADQUARTERS ARMY THE TENNESSEE,
Tullahoma, June 29, 1863.
GENERAL: The enemy's infantry are reported on Manchester road within 5 miles; force unknown, but increasing. Place 500 men in fort Rains, to hold the post.
By order of General Bragg:
W. W. MACKALL,
Chief of Staff.
And issued the following:
HEADQUARTERS POLK'S CORPS,
Tullahoma, June 29, 1863-5.30 a. m.
GENERAL: The lieutenant-general commanding directs me to transmit to you the accompanying request from General Mackall, and to request you to make the detail required, under a competent officer, as early as practicable.
Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
THOMAS M. JACK,
At 7 a. m., Lieutenant [Towson] Ellis, aide-de-camp to General Bragg, informed the general that the enemy were advancing in line of battle on three different roads, and directing him (General Polk) to at once put his command in position. The necessary orders were issues, and at 8 a. m. the whole corps marched out to the line selected. After getting his command in position, General Polk went to general Bragg, about 9 a. m., for orders. White there, General Bragg informed the general that the enemy had destroyed the railroad at decherd, and interrupted his communications with the rear; that the enemy's mounted force was so great as to render it impossible for him (Bragg) to prevent it, and that he had determined to give the enemy battle where he then was (at Tullahoma), and for that reason would recall Walthall's brigade at Allisona Bridge. General Polk then remarked that if it was his determination to fight there, it was very proper to recall the brigade. The general then rode along the entire lines, and, overtaking General Hardee, informed him (General Hardee) of General Bragg's determination, and told him that he (General Polk) thought that determination under the circumstances an injudicious one.
They then both, about 3 p. m., went by appointment to army headquarters. There was present at the conference then held, General Bragg, General Mackall, General Polk, General Hardee, and Colonel David Urquhart, who was understood as acting as General Bragg's private secretary. General Bragg asked General Polk what was his counsel. General Polk, after reminding General Bragg that his communications re-establish his communications. General Bragg replied that they had been re-established since the interview of the morning. General Polk then asked, "How do you propose to maintain them?" He replied, "By posting cavalry along the line." General Polk remarked, in his opinion, he had not cavalry enough at his disposal to cover other points and cover that line also, and therefore the enemy would possess himself of the line by driving off the cavalry in less than thirty-six hours; that if he (the enemy) did so, he would no doubt do it in force sufficient to hold the communications, in which event he (General Bragg) would be as effectually besieged as Pemberton in Vicksburg-his sources of supplied cut off. The enemy would not strike him a blow, but reduce him by starvation either to surrender on the spot or to a retreat along the line which he had indicated by way of Fayetteville, Huntsville, and across the Tennessee in the vicinity of Decatur. In this last event animals