On the 7th I advanced to this point with the remaining portion of my command, and encamped at about 1 p. m.
I found a plentiful supply of excellent water along the route up the Tennessee River, sufficient for a much larger command.
At Graham's Station, 4 miles from the river, there is a good supply of water for a division, but not sufficient for the stock, within 2 miles. At the base of Raccoon Mountain I found a large spring, capable of supplying a large body of troops. On the summit, however, the water is difficult of access and not of the best quality, being far back in Gordon's coal mines, and requiring some skill and much labor in procuring it. There is, however, a sufficiency for a division with its stock.
The water at this point (Squirrel Spring) is plentiful enough for a large army.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. BRANNAN,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
Lieutenant Colonel GEORGE E. FLYNT,
Asst. Adjt. General, and Chief of Staff, 14th Army Corps.
HDQRS. THIRD DIVISION, 14TH ARMY CORPS, Camp Rodgers, McLemore's Cove, Ga., September 12, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that I left my camp at Easley's at daylight yesterday, September 11, without baggage, in accordance with an order to that effect directing me to cross Lookout Mountain without delay. On arriving at the base of the mountain I found that it would be impossible to proceed farther that night, as General Reynolds' baggage train and troops obstructed the ascent. I accordingly went into camp at that point with one brigade, leaving the other brigades at Stewart's.
Having received further orders at 6 p. m. that day, September 11, to get my division in position in McLemore's Cove by daylight on the following day, September 12, I immediately struck camp and again endeavored to ascend the mountain, but found it impossible to commence the ascent until after 12 o'clock that night, owing to the delay on part of Colonel King in moving his brigade, the troops, in the meantime, bivouacking at the foot of the mountain.
About 12.30 a. m. of the 12th I commenced the ascent and succeeded in getting up an entire brigade by daylight, with the exception of a portion of its battery, which, however, came up soon after. At daylight I followed with the remainder of my command, and, pushing forward with all speed, arrived at my present camp at 11 a. m. with the entire infantry and one battery of the division, a second battery arriving at 12.30 p. m.
At 2 p. m., in accordance with verbal orders received from the major-general commanding corps, I proceeded on a reconnaissance with my entire division (except one battery) and one brigade of the First Division, and advanced 2 miles beyond Davis' Cross-Roads without seeing anything of the rebels with the exception of a few mounted men. My entire division, with the exception of a regiment guarding the trains, is encamped at this point. The train is parked at the foot of Lookout Mountain and will move up at daylight to-morrow.