orders given to General Buckner direct by the general commanding, to whom I then reported in person at Davis' Cross-Roads. The enemy had retired to Stevens' Gap, the place at which I was originally ordered to make the attack, and Hill's troops had now united with me at Davis', the place prescribed for the junction, Buckner being with me in addition; but as soon as I reported to the general commanding he remarked, "We can't stay here," and ordered the command marched that night, and with the least possible delay, to La Fayette. This was accordingly done, Buckner's corps moving by Dug Gap and my division through Catlett's Gap.
It is due the officers and men to say that they evinced the utmost anxiety to meet the enemy and an admirable alacrity in obeying all orders.
Generals Buckner and Anderson are especially entitled to my thanks. Their reports are forwarded herewith.
Having now stated my operations and the various causes of delay, I beg, for greater clearness, to recapitulate the latter:
1. There was a loss of one or two hours before daylight on the 10th, caused by my being instructed to march around by Dr. Anderson's, instead of going direct by Crawfish Spring.
2. An entire day [the 10th] was lost, because the general commanding did not know of the obstruction of Dug and Catlett's Gaps, rendering it impracticable for Hill's troops to unite with mine.
3. Allowing an hour and a half as fair time for transmitting the order of march and putting a column of 15,000 troops in motion, with their artillery, ordnance, and ambulance trains, there was a delay on the morning of the 11th of one hour, for which I am accountable, and the reasons for which are hereinbefore fully explained. If, without so delaying, I had marched at 5,50 the earliest hour practicable, the result would have been the same, as Major Nocquet returned at 6.30-before I could possibly have attacked-bringing the message from the general commanding to carry out my own plans, which conceded to me the discretion I had already exercised.
4. There were the usual stoppages, detentions, &c., while marching in column on a single road, all of which were unavoidable so far as I know.
5. Time was necessary lost when near the enemy in trying to ascertain his position and strength, and in deploying.
6. There was a loss of one or two hours considering the communications of the chief of staff of the general commanding and making additional reconnaissances in consequence of their reception.
7. Considerable time was afterward unavoidably lost while pursuing the enemy over ground of very broken character, rendered almost impenetrable by the thick undergrowth.
I deem it proper to say that, in my opinion, the delays of the 11th did not affect the result. From Lookout Mountain, 3 or 4 miles distant, the enemy could count every regiment of my command marching from Woathen's Gap to Morgan's, and thence along open fields to Conley's, and this in ample time to re-enforce at Davis' Cross-Roads or retire from that position, at his discretion.
The following letter of General Hill, received by me on the afternoon of the 10th, is submitted in this connection:
SEPTEMBER 10, 1863-11 a.m.
GENERAL: General Bragg's order did not reach me till 5 o'clock this morning. It directed Cleburne's division to co-operate with you. That officer was sick, and four of his best regiments were absent and could not be got up. The road across