The general commanding directs you to find two or three parallel routes by which you may move more easily and yet keep your columns in supporting distance. General Wood's division has been ordered to move by the Rossville and La Fayette road to Gordon's Mills, and, if he deems it prudent, he will go on to the intersection of that road with the Dalton road, and he suggests that the balance of the corps can move on the Chickamauga and Pea Vine Valley roads. Use Colonel Wilder's command to cover your advance and left flank. If possible, encamp your command to-night near the road crossing your line of march and passing Trickum Post-Office and Buzzard road to Dalton. Keep two objects in view, either to support General Thomas in case the enemy is in force in the vicinity of La Fayette, or to move eastward and southward toward Rome in case he has continued his retreat. From that point communicate with General Thomas, and send Colonel Wilder forward to join his own corps. Colonel Minty's brigade will be ordered forward to protect your flank. Establish a courier line between your headquarters and this place. Report frequently.
Yours, very respectfully,
J. A. GARFIELD,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS TWENTY-FIRST ARMY CORPS,
Ringgold, September 11, 1863-1 p. m.
Lieutenant Colonel C. GODDARD, Assistant Adjutant-General:
COLONEL: I have just arrived at this place. At Graysville, 5 miles back, Colonel Wilder and General Hazen rejoined us. Upon our arrival we found about 800 of the enemy's cavalry, who immediately retired when General Van Cleve came in. When Wilder came up he pursued them, and at this time is skirmishing with them in our front, with what success I am not yet informed. I have instructed him to press them. General Van Cleve will encamp 4 or 5 miles forward toward Dalton. General Palmer is camping here.
After the most diligent inquiries by General Palmer and myself, we are both perfectly assured that no force of the enemy except some cavalry have gone by Dalton, for the pursuit of which Wilder's command is more than sufficient. General Palmer agrees with me that nothing more in the way of pursuit can be accomplished in this direction.
As it is possible that the general commanding may desire that I should at all events go on to Dalton, I shall await here an answer to my communication of this morning, and shall promptly forward any further information I may obtain in the mean time. All reports so far agree that the enemy have all gone to Rome.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. L. CRITTENDEN,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Chattanooga, September 11, 1863-3.30 p. m.
Major-General CRITTENDEN, Comdg. 21st Army Corps:
Information has just been received that the enemy is in heavy force in the valley of Chattanooga Creek. Colonel Harker had pushed
35 R R-VOI XXX, PT III