STEVENSON, August 15, 1863-10.55 p.m.
Major W. H. SINCLAIR,
Part of my command arrived here to-day. The railroad is occupied as directed-Third Brigade at Flint River; one regiment Second Brigade at Paint Rock, two regiments at Larkinsville; the First Brigade at this end of road. Railroad and telegraph all right. Can't you send commissary train down to Larkinsville and telegraph operator? I go back to Larkinsville to-morrow.
EDWARD M. McCOOK,
Colonel, Commanding First Division.
LARKINSVILLE, ALA., August 15, 1863..
Colonel A. C. CAMPBELL,
Commanding First Brigade:
You will encamp your brigades at suitable points, for carrying out the following instructions, between this place and Stevenson, establishing your headquarters at some convenient point west of the latter place, and occupying such portion of the railroad between Larkinsville and Stevenson as may be necessary for its protection against any attempts of the enemy's partisans:
All the fords on the Tennessee in your front must be picketed, or if you find it impossible to send pickets to such a distance from your command, patrols must be sent daily, or oftener if you deem necessary, to obtain information of any attempt on the part of the enemy to cross. If you can secure the boats at the crossing-places without sacrificing lives, it would be desirable. Establish and maintain patrols to and along the river, meeting the detachments from Stevenson and this point on the east and west respectively.
After getting into camp you will establish immediately a courier line, under charge of an efficient commissioned officer, between your headquarters and Larkinsville. Any guard which may be necessary at any railroad bridge on your line will be furnished by you upon the arrival of workmen there to construct or repair it.
Cut and cure corn for your horses, salting your animals well. If a supply of this kind of forage is insufficient, make requisitions in time, in order that I may endeavor to procure a proper supply by railroad. Invite the people to bring in forage, and give cash vouchers for the same at market prices. Do not let your supply of salt for horses run short, but make requisitions promptly on division commissary for what you need.
Hunt all the bushwhackers completely out of your vicinity, and make reports of your operations to my headquarters at Larkinsville as often as necessary. Visit your lines personally, in order to assure yourself that they are properly established. Communicate promptly any valuable information you may obtain, and if you find your force insufficient, or if other obstacles intervene to prevent the full execution of these instructions, communicate the facts promptly and fully, in order that dispositions may be made to meet the difficulties.
I am, colonel, your very obedient servant,
EDWARD M. McCOOK,