on them. General Crittenden, Palmer, Wood, and others are here. Will go into camp (unless ordered by some one on duty) and await your orders.
Can my transportation be ordered up at once? There are men enough in camp to bring it.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
SMITH D. ATKINS,
Colonel Ninety-second Illinois Volunteers.
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, Poe's Tavern, September 9, 1863-7 a.m.
I am going up to see Minty, and learn what reason there is for the alarm manifested about a crossing of the enemy there. The fords and crossing along here are strongly picketed by the enemy this morning. It is not expected of us to cross the river and fight any battle, for there are too many chances against us should we attempt one. We should do no more than to make thorough cavalry reconnaissances at first, and until we make sure by actual observation that we will not be compromised by crossing. If we had a bridge in place of boats the thing would be quite different. Show this to Wagner. We cannot depend upon appearances or reports of prisoners for the movement of our infantry and artillery.
W. B. HAZEN,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Trenton, Ga., September 9, 1863-9 a.m.
Commanding Twentieth Army Corps:
A dispatch is this morning received from General Wagner, dated September 8, 8.30 p.m., stating that the rebels evacuated Chattanooga yesterday and he will occupy it in the morning. General Crittenden started early this morning to occupy the place and commence the pursuit. Our forces opposite that place have been ordered to cross the rive immediately and join General Crittenden. General Thomas has been ordered to move his command of La Fayette. The general commanding directs you to move as rapidly as possible on Alpine and Summerville, for the purpose of intercepting the enemy in his retreat; move on so as to strike him in flank, if possible. Knowing the line of General Thomas' march, you will direct your movements in accordance with the information you may obtain from time to time of the enemy's route. Attack him whenever you can reach him with reasonable chances of success. The main body of the rebel force cannot now be more than two days distant from Chattanooga, and the general commanding has strong hopes that you may inflict most serious injury upon them.
In case General Stanley has left no arrangement for the movement and protection of his train, the general commanding desires you to attend to its safety and movement. Keep open communication with