HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Chattanooga, September 20, 1863-9.45 p.m.
Colonel J. T. WILDER:
Your dispatch of 6 p.m. received. The general commanding directs me to say that he is highly pleased with your report, and directs that you send the guns on as soon as possible.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. A. GARFIELD,
Brigadier-General, Chief of Staff.
WASHINGTON, September 21, 1863-12.35 p.m.
Be of good cheer. We have unabated confidence in you and in your soldiers and officers. In the main you must be the judge as to what is to be done. If I was to suggest, I would say save your army by taking strong positions until Burnside joins you, when I hope you can turn the tide. I think you had better send a courier to Burnside to hurry him up. We cannot reach him by telegraph. We suppose some force is going to you from Corinth, but for want of communication we do not know how they are getting along. We shall do our utmost to assist you. Send us your present posting.
ROSSVILLE, September 21, 1863-1.30 p.m.[a.m.]
Minty reports at 9 p.m. last night that he drove Scott's brigade across the river on the Ringgold road, and now holds the cross-roads at that place. This seems to dispose of the story of the enemy attempting to get round our left into Chattanooga. I have been to General Thomas to inquire what disposition he has made for fight in the morning. We do not seem to be in the best trim for an early fight.
I hope you will get here as soon as possible to organize the army and victory before the storm sets in. General Thomas bid me say he will make the best dispositions for the morrow he can. He came here (General Granger's headquarters) with me, and is now consulting on the lines to be held. The officers in charge of supply and ammunition trains should come forward and report to General Thomas at McFarland's house, at the fork of the road, now used as a hospital. I hope there will be no failure in the bringing up of these supplies.
J. A. GARFIELD,
WAR DEPARTMENT, September 21, 1863-2 a.m.
Go to Rosecrans with your force without a moment's delay.