HDQRS. SECOND DIV., TWENTY-FIRST ARMY CORPS,
Rossville, September 10, 1863-7.05 a. m.
Captain P. P. OLDERSHAW,
CAPTAIN: Cruft is moving out and will be followed by the brigade of Grose at once. The order to march was received by me at 5.15 this morning. I regret to say that it will be impossible to march with the rapidity desired by the general.
The rations in the haversacks of the men will be exhausted tonight. On yesterday morning I ordered that everything in the way of transportation under my control give way to wagons loaded with rations and ammunition, and I hoped by that means to get up supplies last night, but I am informed that on yesterday the trains of the different divisions moved at thee will of the different quartermasters, and are intermixed very much. At all events, the supplies for this division have not arrived.
I beg to suggest that it would be an improvement if some common superior of division quartermasters would regulate the movements of trains.
At daylight this morning I sent forward one regiment from Cruft's brigade to occupy the gap on the Ringgold road. This regiment is now out 2 miles and reports "no enemy to be seen." At the same time one of Grose's brigades was moved forward on the La Fayette road. After marching about 1 mile it encountered a party of the enemy, and a sharp skirmish ensued. Our men drove the enemy about 1 mile. The advance of that regiment say that there are signs of a large number of sheep and cattle on that road, and they think the party with which they skirmished were the guards in charge of the animals. The best information I can get is that the bulk of the enemy have taken the La Fayette road. A negro reports that Bragg, yesterday morning, was at Gordon's Mills, and he also says our troops had possession of the road to his front, or, to use the words of the negro, "Bragg was cut off."
To return to the subject of supplies for the men, I propose to make a short march to-day, so that my trains can overtake me.
By the way, at this moment a man has been brought in who was at Gordon's Mills yesterday noon. He says that there were 2.000 infantry there grinding meal and cooking, and said they would march again last night.
Colonel Waters, 1 1/2 miles on the La Fayette road, reports rebel cavalry in sight.
JOHN M. PALMER,
CAPTAIN: Please return this to me, or keep a copy for me.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Chattanooga, September 10, 1863-12. p. m.
General Palmer reports to-day that he expects his communication to be cut off within twenty-four hours by a cavalry force on the La