the enemy at the foot of Steven's Gap, said to be 4,000 or 5,000. If unforeseen circumstances should prevent your movement, notify Hindman. A cavalry force should accompany your column. Hindman has none. Open communication with Hindman by your cavalry in advance of the junction. He marches on the road from Dr. Anderson's to Davis Cross-Roads.
W. W. MACKALL,
Chief of Staff.
I immediately replied to this note, notifying the commanding general of the late hour at which it had been received, and stating that General Cleburne had been sick in bed all day; that two of his regiments which had been picketing above Harrison had not yet joined him; that one of his three brigades had to be relieved from picket at the gaps, and that these gaps had been heavily obstructed by our cavalry and some hours would be required to open them up.
Inasmuch, too, as Cleburne would have nearly, if not quite,as long a march as Hindman, I believed the intended junction would be impossible, and certainly no surprise could be effected. These reasons appeared satisfactory to the commanding general, as he made no complaint in regard to my not making the movement, and met me next day with his usual cordiality. General Buckner, at Gordon's Mills, was directed to make the movement instead of General Cleburne, and the language of the order to Buckner recognized the impracticability of the order issued to me-"General Hill has found it impossible to carry out the part assigned to Cleburne's division." In fact, General Hindman had made his night march and reached the neighborhood of the Yankees almost by the time I received the order to move to effect a junction. As there could he no directed communication with him, the following not reached me from him in the afternoon:
HDQRS. ETC., AT MORGAN'S, ON COVE ROAD
Four Miles from Davis' Cross-Roads, September 10, 1863-6 a.m.
GENERAL: I expected you would open communication with me by the time I reached this place, but as yet hear nothing from you. If it be true, as I learn it is, that the road from La Fayette to Davis' Cross-Roads is blockaded at Dug Gap and the Catlett's Gap road also blockaded, I fear it will be impossible to effect the intended junction. Your better information will enable you to decide as to that. There are rumors here that a Federal division is at and near Davis' Cross-Roads. Colonel Russell, commanding a cavalry regiment of Martin's brigade, has gone forward to ascertain the facts. I deem it inexpedient to move beyond this place till I learn that you are in motion and that we can safely unite.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. C. HINDMAN,
On the morning of the 11th, Cleburne's division, followed by Walker's, marched to Dug Gap. It was understood that Hindman and Buckner would attack at daylight and these other divisions were to co-operate with them. The attack, however, did not begin at the hour designated, and so imperfect was the communication with Hindman that it was noon before he could be heard from. I was then directed to move with the divisions of Cleburne and Walker and make a front attack upon the Yankees. The sharpshooters of Wood's brigade, under the gallant Major Hawkins, advanced in handsome style, driving in the Yankee pickets and skirmishers and Cleburne's whole force was advancing on their line of battle, when I was halted by an order from General Bragg. The object was, as supposed, to wait until Hindman got in the Yankees' rear. About