War of the Rebellion: Serial 052 Page 0906 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter XLII.

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Washington, September 27, 1863-8.30 p.m.

Major-General BURNSIDE, Knoxville, Tenn.:

Your orders before leaving Kentucky, and frequently repeated since, were to connect your right with General Rosecrans' left, so that, if the enemy concentrated on one, the other would be able to assist. General Rosecrans was attacked on Chickamauga Creek and driven back to Chattanooga, which he holds, waiting for your assistance. Telegram after telegram has been sent to you to go to his assistance with all your available force, you being the judge of what troops it was necessary, under the circumstances, to leave in East Tennessee. The route by which you were to reach General Rosecrans was also left to your discretion. When he was forced to fall back on Chattanooga you were advised (not ordered) to move on the north side of the Tennessee River, lest you might be cut off by the enemy on the south side. The danger of the latter movement being pointed out to you, you were left to decide for yourself. The substance of all telegrams from the President and from me is, you must go to General Rosecrans' assistance, with all your available force, by such route as, under the advices given you from here and such information as you can get, you may deem most practicable. The orders are very plain, and you cannot mistake their purport. It only remains for you to execute them. General Rosecrans is holding Chattanooga and waiting re-enforcements from you. East Tennessee must be held at all hazards, if possible. The President has just shown me his telegram, which is added, and in which I fully concur.



KNOXVILLE, TENN., September 27, 1863.

(Received 6 p.m.)

Major-General HALLECK, General-in-Chief:

The troops are moving down as rapidly as possible. We have to move carefully, as the enemy's cavalry follows us closely. If you could give me something definite in reference to Rosecrans' position, I could act more understandingly.



KNOXVILLE, September 27, 1863.


Direct communication with Washington just opened, and I have sent a long dispatch to General Halleck, a copy of which will be sent to you. If I could learn more of your situation, I should be better able to act.



CHATTANOOGA, September 27, 1863.


No news from you since September 17. The enemy confronts us. We don't know his strength. You should move on the west side