HEADQUARTERS SECOND DIVISION, RESERVE CORPS,
Flint River, Ala., September 3, 1863.
Colonel DANIEL McCOOK,
Comdg. Second Brigadier Second Div., Reserve Corps:
The general commanding directs me to say that you make the following disposition of you troops on your arrival at Huntsville: Two regiments of infantry and Barnett's battery will remain at Huntsville; a regiment best calculated to construct railroad bridge across Flint River will be sent here; two companies at Hurricane Creek to guard bridge; three companies at Paint Rock, to guard bridge; five companies at Larkinsville, to guard bridge and saw-mill. Send a good engineer officer (if you have one) with the regiment to this point to superintend the construction of the bridge, &c. Supplies for the present can be drawn from this point. Push forward as rapidly as possible.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.
September 3, 1863.
Major General W. S. ROSECRANS, U. S. Army,
Commanding Army of the Cumberland:
SIR: We, the undersigned officers composing the Third Brigade, Third Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland, would most respectfully beg that you would relieve us of Brigadier-General Spears, who, we are informed, is to command us, who, by his former tyranny and ungentlemanly conduct toward us, his subordinate officers, rendered him more than useless for doing good in that cause which you have done so much to bring to a successful issue. Since his return to Carthage the dissatisfaction is so great that, in the opinion of you humble petitioners, six weeks with him commanding will deplete the brigade by demoralization. He has also threatened that any officer offering his resignation shall be placed under arrest and the communication stopped: also that the Tennesseeans (loyal soldiers) would see hell. We would therefore humbly pray that you in your official capacity may see proper or fit to assign the command to either of our colonels, or should you think it best to send us some other officer and gentleman, we will cheerfully discharge our duties as officers and soldiers. We have the utmost confidence in your judgment and discretion after the fact is known to you that Brigadier General James G. Spears does not enjoy the confidence of either officers or soldiers, feeling that from your well-known philanthropic and Christian principle we will not have plead in vain.
And believe us, general, we have the honor to remain, your well-wishing and obedient servants,
Joseph A. Cooper, colonel Sixth East Tennessee Volunteer Infantry; A. Marion Gamble, major Sixth East Tennessee Volunteer Infantry; Thomas D. Edington, captain Company A, Sixth East Tennessee Volunteer Infantry; William W. Dunn, second lieutenant Company A, Sixth Regiment East Tennessee Volunteer Infantry; James M. Armstrong, first lieutenant Company B, Sixth East Tennessee Infantry; Thomas A. Smith, second lieutenant Company B, Sixth Regiment East Tennessee Volunteer Infantry; Will-