you are moving back through Winston's Gap, which will keep you for some time where your command and give no support to the balance of the army. He directs you to turn back at once to the head of McLemore's Cove, where you can operate this way with infantry at least, or can move toward La Fayette, in which direction you will most probably be needed. Direct Stanley's cavalry to open a communication, as directed, as soon as possible with this place. All our maps and evidence go to show that the route is practicable from here to Dougherty's. A junction has been effected between Thomas and Crittenden.
I have not seen the dispatch of Major Bond to General Stanley, complaining that lines of communication were not kept up with department headquarters, but I am assured by the general commanding that he did not intend to censure you in that communication.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. A. GARFIELD,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS TWENTIETH ARMY CORPS, Lookout Valley, 7 Miles below Winston's, September 14, 1863-5.30 p. m.
Brigadier General J. A. GARFIELD,
Chief of Staff:
Your communication of 11.30 a. m. is just received. Sheridan, with two brigades of his division, encamps at his old camp, 13 miles this side of Trenton. Johnson and Davis, with two brigades of their divisions respectively, are encamped to-night 3 miles from here at Long's Spring. Sheridan will be ready to ascend the mountain at Johnson's Crook at an early hour in the morning. Johnson and Davis will be ready to follow immediately, where they will be in support and co-operation with the rest of the army. All my baggage except my ammunition is on the top of Lookout Mountain, near Winston's, as originally ordered.
I was placed under the command of General Thomas (by General Rosecrans), who had discretion to order me up to his support if he deemed it necessary, which he did. I have received two communications from his stating that the route by Winston's was in his judgment the only practicable route for me to take. He requested me to join him at Stevens' Gap.
I know as well as anybody that my position was at the head of McLemore's Cove, that being the key of Pigeon Mountain.
There is no evidence or map in my possession that would lead me to believe that the road from Dougherty's to Stevens' Gap is a good one, but from the evidences I have I believe it to be a very bad one. I at least supposed that General Thomas would know the condition of the country and roads for a few miles on his right. He ordered me to Stevens' Gap, and by his approval I am on this route. I will be pained to take my troops over the route again; they certainly would feel as if I were trifling with them. I beg leave to differ with you in your statement that my troops will not be in co-operation with the rest of the army. Sheridan will be on General Thomas' right, should the road be clear at an early hour in the morning.