HEADQUARTERS TWENTY-FIRST ARMY CORPS,
Chattanooga, September 10, 1863-3.30 a.m.
Comdg. First Brig., Fourth Div., Fourteenth Army Corps:
SIR: The general commanding directs that you lose no time in crossing and proceed in pursuit of the enemy with the utmost vigor in the direction of General Palmer's left, and open communication with him. General Palmer marches this morning at 5.30 from Rossville to Ringgold, thence to Dalton. Should anything occur to you or you gain any information before reporting to General Palmer, you will communicate with me promptly at this place. A line of couriers will be established on General Palmer's route. Colonel Minty is ordered to cross the river as quickly as possible and join you.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. P. OLDERSHAW,
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.
ALPINE, September 11, 1863.
I arrived here yesterday at 5 p.m. with two brigades of Davis' and Johnson's division. Sheridan is on top of the mountain and will be down to-day. I have no news of the enemy, nor do I know upon which route they are marching. Stanley has been unable to give me [sic]. Please let me know where you are and what you intend to do, for without co-operation here we can do nothing. I fear the enemy has got beyond our reach unless we push forward and attack him in position farther south. General Stanley informs me that the rebel cavalry has nearly all retreated toward La Fayette. I cannot understand this movement on their part unless the enemy intend falling back to Atlanta. It is about 31 miles from here to La Fayette. If you are at the latter place I should be at Summerville or near you. I will await my movements until I hear from you.
A. McD. McCOOK,
NEAR ALPINE, September 11, 1863-10 p.m.
General J. C. DAVIS:
Communication is just opened with General Thomas by way of Will's Valley and Winston's. He does not expect to reach La Fayette until to-morrow, so that our efforts to-day to open communication directly to La Fayette were rather premature, as General Thomas found a strong force of the enemy in his front before reaching there. Polk's corps is reported to be 5 1/2 miles northeast of Summerville, on the road from that place to Ringgold, at Trion Factory. General McCook directs that your supply wagons only shall be brought from the mountains, and that all your baggage wagons shall be parked at the streams on Lookout Mountain. Orders to this effect must be issued immediately. Whatever baggage you may deem absolutely necessary can be brought forward in