War of the Rebellion: Serial 035 Page 0594 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.

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orders of the 2nd and 3rd of June detached the principal part of that force for service under another general, directing me to hold my position, and promising me that on the fall of Vicksburg my troops should be returned with re-enforcements.

I have never willfully disobeyed an order of the Secretary of War, or any other order since this war commenced, but have given the Government an honest and unselfish support. I have submitted of lat,e without complaint, to your uniform refusal of my requests, which were made for the good of the public service in this department, but I am not willing to let the imputation that I have disobeyed orders go unnoticed. Your general instructions, as I understand them, leave me at liberty to do just what I have done without them; that is, to use my own judgment as to combination of forces, route, &c. The concentration is being made as rapidly as possible.


Major-General, Commanding.


August 6, 1863-12.10 p. m.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,


My arrangements for beginning a continuous movement will be completed and the execution begun by Monday next. We have information to show that crossing the Tennessee, between Bridgeport and Chattanooga, is impracticable, but not enough to show whether we had better cross above Chattanooga, and strike Cleveland, or below Bridgeport, and strike their rear. The preliminary movements of troops for the two cases are very different. It is necessary to have our means of crossing the river completed, and our supplies provided to cross 60 miles of mountain, and sustain ourselves during the operations of crossing and fighting, before we move. To obey your order literally would be to push our troops at once into the mountains on narrow and difficult roads, destitute of pasture and forage, and short of water, where they would not be able to maneuver as exigencies may demand, and would certainly cause ultimate delay and probably disaster. If, therefore, the movement which I propose cannot be regarded as obedience to your order, I respectfully request a modification of it, or to be relieved from the command.


Major-General, Commanding.


Winchester, Tenn., August 6, 1863.

Major General GEORGE H. THOMAS:

The general commanding directs that your report if your animals are shod and in readiness to move; also the number of days' rations and short forage on hand. He also directs that you have your command supplied with ten days' rations and short forage, packed and ready for a move.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.

(Same to Major-Generals McCook and Palmer.)