HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, DEPT. OF THE CUMBERLAND,
September 5, 1863.
Colonel E. M. McCOOK:
COLONEL: The general commanding desires to know if you have any claw-hooks, crowbars, or any other means of tearing up a railroad track; also have you any torpedoes in your ordnance train for blowing up railroad bridges, culverts,&c? If you have not some of these instruments, and cannot make them here, they must be sent for to Stevenson immediately and hurried forward. Make inquiries and reply at once, and if you have not got any of these things and cannot make them, send back to-night. Send an officer, and he must get a good wagon and plenty of mules to hurry them forward. Are there any such things in your train that has come or is coming?
Answer by orderly.
WM. H. SINCLAIR,
HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION CAVALRY,
September 5, 1863.
Major W. H. SINCLAIR,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Cavalry Corps:
In reply to your communication, I have the honor to say that there are no class-hooks, crowbars, or any other means for tearing up tracks, in my command.
There is no practical man connected with it who understands the construction of torpedoes or explosives of that character. We have no material to make them, except the ordinary ammunition with the ordnance train, which has not yet come up.
I send Captain Kessler back with one of the tired teams that has just come up. Give him an order to exchange mules with any teams he meets along the road, and he can be back from Stevenson to-morrow night. He is a man who will not sleep until his mission is accomplished, and will enforce to the letter any order you may give. Our headquarters teams are not yet up, or I would send one of them. I send the best there is. The captain will report to you for explicit orders. Please give them in writing, so that he may meet with no detention at Stevenson or on the road.
The scout has returned from Lebanon; nothing there. We struck their pickets with another scout at Davis' Gap, on top of the mountain 10 miles from here, and pursued them to within 6 miles of Alpine, capturing the outposts, a sergeant, and 10 men. Will send them to you in the morning.
The brigade stationed at Alpine is Crews', Second, Third and Fourth Georgia and Fifth Tennessee Cavalry. They have no force south of this; no pickets on the mountain below Davis' Gap, so the sergeant says. I will send full report of the scouts in the morning.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. M. McCOOK,
P. S.-Please send some paper by first courier. We have run out.