HEADQUARTERS TWENTIETH ARMY CORPS, On Picket Line near Chattanooga, September 24, 1863-1.45 p.m.
GENERAL: The position occupied by General Spears cannot now be retaken without a strong assault in front and a turning maneuver by the left. The enemy have a line of sharpshooters along the lower bluffs of the mountain, which compelled the extreme skirmish line near and to the left of the railroad bridge to withdraw. They have also a line of skirmishers on the left bank of Chattanooga Creek. A battery properly posted on the opposite bank of the river and on the prolongation of the right of my line can sweep the face of Lookout Mountain and neutralize the effect of its occupancy by the enemy. The spirit of my orders has been obeyed, and the mountain has not been assaulted, nor will it be without further orders from the general commanding.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. McD. McCOOK,
HEADQUARTERS TWENTIETH ARMY CORPS, Chattanooga, September 24, 1863.
Brig. General J. A. GARFIELD,
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that a reconnaissance was made on my front this afternoon by two strong regiments of the First Division, at the same time the reconnaissances were made on the center and left. Rebel skirmishers or pickets were found about a quarter of a mile in advance of my picket line, but they retired before my skirmishers, firing but three or four shots. After moving forward about half a mile in advance of my line, my skirmishers were fired on from behind a small ridge by the enemy in line of battle. Their skirmishers had rallied on this line. The strength of the rebel force could not be discovered, but one regiment was seen in line, demonstrating the fact that the enemy in force is in my immediate front. The reconnaissance was made in front of Davis and Johnson. Several of my men were wounded.
A. McD. McCOOK,
HEADQUARTERS TWENTIETH ARMY CORPS, Chattanooga, September 24, 1863-9 p.m.
Captain R. S. THOMS,
CAPTAIN: Your communication of this evening is received. A report of the reconnaissance in my front to-day has already been forwarded; also General Sheridan's report of the rebel firing from Lookout Mountain. The enemy have planted a battery about onethird the distance up the side of the mountain, from which they are able to throw shells inside of my main lines without difficulty. They