front, and must take with us a superior cavalry force to insure success. We shall, moreover, require additional mounted force to control the country, protect the roads in our rear, exterminate guerrillas,a nd give confidence to the population, who will then readily furnish us supplies and give us information that will aid us to put down brigandage, and thus relieve us from the necessities of detachments of infantry guards at many points where otherwise they will be indispensable.
The importance of General Rousseau's mission, in my estimation, may be inferred from the value I attach to cavalry force to operate in connection with this army. To all these uses of cavalry, I will add another no less important. Should we succeed in disorganizing the enemy's force, a powerful cavalry force will enable us to harass and destroy his communications, and thus make him fall an easy prey.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. S. ROSECRANS,
AUGUST 8, 1863.
I can on Tuesday or Wednesday start a force of 5,000 cavalry and 7,000 infantry from Stanford, to move in two columns, one by way of Somerset and Monticello, the other by way of Cumberland or Big Creek Gap. They will make a junction at some point between Clinton and Kingston, endeavoring to take Loudon Bridge and Knoxville. I have thought it may be best to send 4,000 of the cavalry, with two batteries of artillery, across the country to Saltville, destroy in that place, and moving down the railroad, destroying it, to Knoxville; at the same time sanding the remainder of the force directly into East Tennessee, by the routes I have spoken of. If I pursue the first plan, I can probably strike Kingston six days from the time the cavalry leaves, and nine or ten days with the infantry. You will, of course, have to occupy the enemy, to prevent a concentration of forces at Loudon.
Please answer fully as to your plan, that we may co-operate. The Ninth Corps is just beginning to arrive at Cairo, and will follow me as re-enforcements. It is only 6,500 strong.
A. E. BURNSIDE,
HEADQUARTERS FOURTEENTH ARMY CORPS, DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Decherd, August 8, 1863.
Commanding Department of the Cumberland:
GENERAL: I have just been informed by my aide, Captain Willard, that you wish the balance of the First Division to move to Anderson, or between there and Stevenson; the Fourth Division (General Reynolds) to move across the mountains by the Battle Creek road, and Wilder's command to occupy Tracy City, leaving a force at University Place, and operate in Sequatchie Valley.
The First Division is ready, and will move on Monday. The Fourth Division will move as soon as there is a way provided to supply them with rations (the engine for the Tracy City Railroad has not yet been reported to me), and am informed to what point they are to move. They can move with ten days' rations.