We can hold this point if we can keep up communication and supplies. Hurlbut must secure us from and advance from Rome by Governor Brown.
W. S. ROSECRANS,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Chattanooga, September 24, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel A. C. DUCAT:
The general commanding directs you to proceed immediately to make a careful survey of the most practicable route for a wagon road from this place to Jasper on the right of the Tennessee River. Hold in view the location of a road that can be made most expeditiously and will be safe from the enemy's artillery from the other side of the river. Report the results of your of your examination as soon as possible.
Mr. Kelley, civil engineer, has been ordered to report to you as an assistant, and a small escort of cavalry has been ordered to report to you.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. A. GARFIELD,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.
BOB WHITE'S HOUSE, September 24, 1863-7 p.m.
Brigadier-General GARFIELD, Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I am here at the forks of the Haley trace and Cut-off roads. The road to the foot of the mountain from here is very rough and steep. The road from the foot of the mountain to Chattanooga is pretty good, but I can wiggle a road through that will be 50 per cent, better, and have so far fixed all my points.
The crossings of Big and Little Suck Creeks will in any case have to be bridged, but not until I locate the points at which to cross.
The cut-off is described as a mere path, but can be made a better road than the Haley trace. I shall explore both and the river road to-morrow. I shall keep in view all your instructions and decide on the best. The road I came over to foot of this mountain is exposed to fire for 5 miles from other side of river. If the enemy occupy the other side of the river, the road would be difficult in a military point of view, but I think we can occupy the Raccoon strongly with a small force to furnish patrols for safety.
I am of opinion that there is another trace besides the Haley and cut-off. I shall not give this thing up until I get the best. I learn that the river road round this mountain is 10 miles longer than any other.
My proposed improvements of the road to this point are practical. I do not contemplate any great or expensive undertaking, but what can be done with comparatively small labor and expense. I expect Mr. Kelley, the surveyer, here by daylight, at which time I shall start, leaving word with the courier stations-whenever I find them-my probable location. Do send me the news.