In addition to General Burnside's general instructions, a number od dispatches of the same purport as the above were sent to him. Generals Schofield and Pope were directed to send forward to the Tennessee line every available man in their departments; and the commanding officers in Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky were ordered to make every possible exertion to secure General Rosecrans' line of communication. General Meade was urged to attack General Lee's army while in its present reduced condition, or at least to prevent him from sending off any more detachments.
It seemed useless to send any more troops into East Tennessee and Georgia, on account of the impossibility of supplying them in a country which the enemy had nearly exhausted. General inadequately supplied. General Rosecrans had complained of his inadequate cavalry force, but the stables of his depots were overcrowded with animals, and the horses of his artillery, cavalry, and trains were dying in large numbers for want of forage.
As three separate armies were now to operate in the same field, it seemed necessary to have a single commander, in order to secure a more perfect co-operation than had been obtained with the separate commands of Burnside and Rosecrans. General Grant, by his distinguished services, and his superior rank to all the other generals in the West, seemed entitled to this general command; but, unfortunately, ha was at this time in New Orleans, unable to take the field. Moreover, there was no telegraphic communication with him, and the dispatches of the 13th, directed to him and General Sherman, did not reach them until some days after their dates, thus delaying the movement of General Grant's forces from Vicksburg. General Hurlbut, however, had moved the troops of his own corps, then in West Tennessee, with commendable promptness. These were to be replaced by re-enforcements from Steele's corps in Arkansas, which also formed part of Grant's army.
Hearing nothing from General Grant, or from General Sherman's corps at Vicksburg, it was determined, on the 23rd, to detach the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps from the Army of the Potomac, and to send them by rail, under the command of General Hooker, to protect General Rosecrans' line of communication from Bridgeport to Nashville. It was known that these troops could not go immediately to the front. To send more men to Chattanooga, when those already there could not be fully supplied, would only increase the embarrassment, and probably cause the evacuation of that place. In other words, Hooker's command was to temporarily perform the duties previously assigned to the re-enforcements ordered from Grant's army.
We will now return to General Rosecrans' army, the main body of which we left, on the 14th, in the passes of Pigeon Mountain, with the enemy concentrating, his forces near La Fayette to dispute his further advance. Bragg's threatened movements to the right and left were merely cavalry raids to cut Rosecrans' line of supplies, and threaten his communications with Burnside. His main army was probably only awaiting the arrival of Longstreet's corps to give battle in the mountains of Georgia.
Of the movements of this corps, so well known to the enemy, we could get no reliable information. All we knew positively was, that one of Longstreet's division had arrived in Charleston to
re-enforce that place. It was said that other divisions had gone to Mobile to pro-