wagon train on top of Lookout Mountain and my troops in the valley.
La Fayette is the strategic position for Bragg; he then has his road open to Dalton, or to points farther south on the railroad. His object will be to oppose his whole force to our fractions as they debouch from the mountain. All citizens here, both Union and secession, say that he will fight, and with the advantages he has I think so also. I have no doubt that the rebel army is concentrated at or near La Fayette.
A. McD. McCOOK.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Chattanooga, September 12, 1863-10.30 a. m.
Commanding Twentieth Army Corps:
The enemy has concentrated in heavy force of all arms in front of General Thomas, who had not advanced farther than to the jaws of Dug Gap, on the road to La Fayette. Yesterday he attacked Generals Negley and Baird vigorously, and with a superior force, in front and on both flanks, causing them to fall back to the front of Stevens' Gap. General Thomas will probably attack the enemy this morning.
The general commanding directs you to draw your trains back, under escort of one division, to near the crest of the mountain, in front of Winston's, holding it in readiness either to move forward toward La Fayette or Stevens' Gap or to be withdrawn into Lookout Valley.
Move forward with two divisions with all dispatch to the support of General Thomas; move in light marching order, with five days' rations and plenty of ammunition. Send forward a mounted force to communicate with General Thomas, and find at what point your assistance will be needed. It will be well for you as soon as possible to seize the head of McLemore's Cove and the southern spur of Missionary Ridge. General Stanley will cover and assist the movement and endeavor to find what the enemy are doing. He will particularly guard the approaches to your line of march from Broomtown Valley. Show this dispatch to General Stanley.
The story of Polk's corps being at Trion Mill can hardly be correct. Bragg, Polk, and Hill are reported near La Fayette. General Crittenden is closing down upon Thomas from this direction. It is of the most vital importance that you get within supporting distance of General Thomas at the earliest moment. Let us hear from you as often as you can.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. A. GARFIELD,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS TWENTIETH ARMY CORPS,
Near Alpine, September 12, 1863-4.45 p. m.
Brigadier General J. A. GARFIELD,
Chief of Staff:
Colonel McCook's reconnaissance yesterday and last night to Dr. Chaney's, or to Dirt Town (Coast Survey map), developed the fact