into the lines before day after the moon is down. Your advice is asked. Shall I wait until day and fight and contest it with them, or shall I come in under cover of night?
J. G. SPEARS,
Colonel Cross and regiment are here safe and ready to move.
JASPER, September 24, 1863-7 a.m.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Cavalry Corps:
SIR: I have the honor to report, that I arrived at this place this morning at 3 o'clock, the command being much fatigued from the rough road over the mountain, but everything arriving in safety, not having been interrupted. Everything quiet in this vicinity, but rebel cavalry reported on the other side of the river at Shellmound. I move to Bridgeport immediately. Am extremely anxious to hear from the front.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. R. COOK,
Lieutenant Colonel, Comdg. Second East Tennessee Cavalry.
SEPTEMBER 24, 1863.
Colonel W. B. STOKES,
Commanding Cavalry, Tracy City:
The general commanding directs that you proceed at once with the forces with which you have been operating in the Sequatchie Valley and report to the commanding officer at Bridgeport for scouting duty along the river below that place.
Leave one company at Tracy City, unless you can find Captain Brixey, who commands a company of independent scouts. If you find him, order him to protect that place, and then take your whole force with you.
J. A. GARFIELD,
Brigadier-General, Chief of Staff.
TRACY CITY, September 24, 1863-4 p.m.
Captain R. S. THOMS:
Your message just received. Cannot understand what is to be [done]. I have only six companies - 300 men. Do you wish me to move? If so, to what point and where? I have received no orders, previous to your message, from any quarter.
W. B. STOKES,
Colonel, Commanding Fifth Tennessee Cavalry.