send forces to guard the railroad till supplies come up, but a strong reconnaissance may keep the rebels away from the bridges for the present.
J. A. GARFIELD,
Chief of Staff.
General McCook wishes you to carry these instructions into execution by pushing forward, early to-morrow morning, a force of say one brigade from your division, in the direction of Bridgeport as far as is found to be safe and practicable. We have applied to the general commanding for a regiment of cavalry, to accompany the reconnoitering party. Send the force on the road that will best serve to protect the bridges.
It may be best to place a second brigade within supporting distance, on the top of the mountains.
You are best informed as to roads and supplies, & c., and the general leaves the conducting of the reconnaissance to your own excellent judgment.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. P. THRUSTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Tullahoma, July 8, 1863.
We have driven the rebels out of Middle Tennessee. Their retreat has been disastrous and demoralizing to them. It is generally believed that they have lost not less than 5,000 deserters in the mountains. Nothing but the excessive rains and the impassable condition of the roads prevented us from overtaking and destroying their entire army. It has now rained for fifteen successive days. You may judge of the roads when I tell you that it took two divisions of Crittenden's corps four days to march 20 miles. The north end of the bridge across the Tennessee at Bridgeport has been burned. Buckner and his command, and probably some re-enforcements, have returned to Knoxville, their cavalry nearly broken down, and have crossed the Tennessee, according to our best information.
Let me know how you are dealing with the robbers, raiders, and guerrillas. I wish I could see you.
W. S. ROSECRANS,
CINCINNATI, July 8, 1863.
Dispatch of to-day just received. I heartily congratulate you on your success, and wish I could see you again. My Ninth Corps is coming back from Grant, and I hope to be at work soon. We are chasing Morgan, and hope to cripple him before he gets out of the State. Thus far he has done no very serious harm. All our railroad and telegraphic communications are yet open. We are all very happy over the success of Meade, Grant, and yourself.
A. E. BURNSIDE,