most direct [road] from here to Ringgold is crossed by the road leading from Chattanooga over Alexander's Bridge, and falling into the direct Rossville and La Fayette road near Shield's Gap. The report was delivered to me while Mr. Dana and Colonel Hodges were in my quarters, and I desired them to mention it to the commanding general.
Just at dark my most outward post on the road to La Fayette was dashed on by a squad of some 15 mounted men. The outpost fired, and drove back the squad of cavalry. I have strengthened the outpost, and cautioned excessive vigilance there as well as throughout the entire command.
What the meaning of the dash was, whether the precursor of a more serious attack soon or whether it was an effort to capture some of my pickets to gain information generally and specially, I cannot give an opinion. The commanding general can decide this point as well or better than I.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
DTH. J. WOOD,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.
HDQRS. THIRD DIVISION, TWENTY-FIRST ARMY CORPS,
Camp, Crawfish Spring, September 17, 1863-6.30 a.m.
GENERAL: I will watch your left closely. Colonel Barnes, who is on your left, reports cavalry, but thus far has not heard of any rebel infantry on his front.
Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
H. P. VAN CLEVE,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
HEADQUARTERS TWENTY-FIRST ARMY CORPS,
September 17, 1863-1.30 p.m.
Commanding Second Division:
SIR: The general commanding directs that you move your command at once sufficiently to be out of the way of General Thomas.
Move it into the shade, in an unobserved position, and you will before long receive definite orders for taking up position farther down Chickamauga Creek.
P. P. OLDERSHAW,
Above order revoked and modified, we being ready. Notified brigades.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE,
September 17, 1863-daylight.
E. A. OTIS.
My patrol has this moment returned, and Captain Moore, commanding, reports that they advanced 1 1/2 miles beyond our picket