HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Crawfish Spring, September 16, 1863-8.45 p. m.
Major General GEORGE H. THOMAS:
Your dispatch of 3.30 p. m. is just received. The general commanding directs me to say in answer that he fears the movement will be too late if delayed till the time you mention. The enemy seems to be massing on our left, and the general commanding desires that our flank movement to the left may be accomplished as soon as practicable. He has not heard from your reconnaissance to-day to the gap of Pigeon Mountain.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. A. GARFIELD,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.
Journal of operation of the Fourteenth Army Corps.
SEPTEMBER 16, 1863.
No alterations in the positions of the divisions since last reported. General Turchin, commanding Third Brigade, Reynolds' division, went out on a reconnaissance toward Catlett's Gap. The enemy's sharpshooters fell back as our troops advanced, until he came upon the enemy posted in a gorge of the mountain. Could not tell the strength of the enemy, as he had no orders to push them farther. Orders were sent him to make a more thorough reconnaissance at 2 p. m.
HEADQUARTERS FOURTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Stevens' Gap, September 16, 1863-9 p. m.
Brigadier General J. A. GARFIELD,
Chief of Staff, Hdqrs. Department of the Cumberland:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the order to concentrate my corps between Gower's and Bird's Mill, on the Chickamauga. The movement will commence to-morrow morning at daylight by Negley's and Baird's divisions moving along the Ridge road and entering the Valley road at Alley's; thence to Bird's Mill, the right resting at Bird's Mill, and thence extending down the creek to the right of General Crittenden's corps. Should Johnson and Davis arrive in time to-morrow morning, Reynolds and Brannan will be moved to the left and take post, the right resting at Gower's and the left reaching Bird's Mill. We have received news of Johnson and Davis at Rope Gap, and they are expected here early to-morrow morning.
General Crook, with his division of cavalry, holds Dougherty's Gap. General Lytle, with two brigades of McCook's corps, is there also. Colonel Harrison, Indiana Mounted Infantry Regiment, was ordered by me to reconnoiter the vicinity of Dug and Blue Bird Gaps, and to go as far as Rope Gap to meet the cavalry. He has just returned and reports the position of Crook's and McCook's troops as above; he also reports a good road from Rope or Dougherty's Gap along the top of Pigeon Ridge, in rear of Blue Bird Gap, and thinks