War of the Rebellion: Serial 052 Page 0577 Chapter XIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,

Chattanooga, September 12, 1863-6.45 p. m.

Major-General CRITTENDEN,

Commanding Twenty-first Army Corps:

Your dispatch of 2 p. m. is received. Your confidence in Wilder's security seems to be based in part on the supposition that General Thomas has a force in the vicinity of La Fayette. This is incorrect; he has never been nearer than the western slope of Pigeon Mountain, and the last account from him was that Negley and Baird were yesterday forced back to the jaws of Stevens' Gap by a superior force of the enemy after a sharp fight. From our maps we cannot make out Wilder's position exactly, but if his security depends in any considerable degree upon the belief that he cannot be threatened from La Fayette, he is far from secure. The general commanding directs you to draw him back at once, and place him on your front and left flank.

Colonel Minty has been ordered to send the Fourth Regiment Cavalry to report to you; post it on your right and front so as to watch the cross-roads leading to the mountain. Examine the character of the creek, and see that your command has fee communication both to the front and rear. Take up a defensible position, and explore the roads with a view to moving up the Dry Valley route toward General Thomas.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. A. GARFIELD,

Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,

Chattanooga, September 12, 1863-9.30 p. m.

Major-General CRITTENDEN, Comdg. 21st Army Corps:

Your dispatch of 4.45 p. m. is just received. The general commanding directs me to say that there is no longer doubt that the enemy is in heavy force in the neighborhood of La Fayette, and there is far more probability of his attacking you than that he is running. You have probably by this time received my dispatch in answer to your last, which directs you to draw Wilder back at once. Get your command well in hand, and be ready for defense or advance, as may be necessary. The Fourth U. S. Cavalry left for Gordon's Mills one hour ago. Report immediately what kind of force Hazen was skirmishing with; also, what was in front of Wilder.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. A. GARFIELD,

Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS TWENTY-FIRST ARMY CORPS,

Gordon's Mills, September 12, 1863-9.45 p. m.

(Received 1.45 a. m., 13th.)

Major-General GARFIELD, Chief of Staff, Chattanooga:

SIR: I have the honor to forward you the inclosed report* from General Wood. Colonel Wilder has just arrived. His command is

*Not found as an inclosure. But see Wood to Oldershaw, September 12, 7.30 p. m., p. 581.

37 R R-VOI XXX, PT III