HEADQUARTERS TWENTY-FIRST ARMY CORPS,
Gordon's Mills, September 13, 1863.
Colonel J. T. WILDER,
Comdg. First Brig., Fourth Div. Fourteenth Army Corps:
SIR: The general commanding directs that you withdraw your forces quietly, and report in person at these headquarters without delay.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. P. OLDERSHAW,
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.
SIGNAL STATION ON MOUNTAIN, September 14, 1863-4.20 a.m.
General J. A. GARFIELD:
Two of my divisions are marching with all haste to join General Thomas. I first received your orders to join him with five days' rations and ammunition. My dispositions were made accordingly, and when the mountain road was full of my ammunition and supply train, I received another order from General Thomas to join him with two divisions and three days' rations and 60 rounds of ammunition on the persons. The ammunition and three days' supply, of course, preceded my troops, and in consequence the rear of my column could not get on top of Lookout Mountain until after night-fall. I endeavored to march by Dougherty's Gap into McLemore's Cove, and with a portion of my infantry to clear Pigeon Mountain of the enemy to Blue Bird Gap, if not to Dug Gap, but instructions from General Garfield to General Thomas, which reached me just as I got to the top of Lookout Mountain in person, led me to believe that McLemore's Cove is in the possession of the enemy; and Stanley being ordered to seize Dougherty's Gap without delay, and General Thomas ordering me to join him at Stevens' Gap, and the impracticability of the road leading over the spurs to Stevens' Gap, left me but one route to pursue, and that is to descend the mountain at Winston's and push down Lookout Valley. This is being done with all possible haste. I will join Thomas myself this evening. My troops will also be near him. This road is 9 miles farther, but is nine hours nearer in time. Myself and troops have done and will do everything that mortal men can do. I have communicated fully and freely with General Thomas.
A. McD. McCOOK,
ON THE MOUNTAIN, September 14, 1863-6.30 p.m.
General McCook directs me to inform you that orders from department headquarters make a change of plan necessary. Instead of assembling the trains and your brigades at Little River, as soon as the road is cleared of other troops, you will move your trains and troops down the mountain into Lookout Valley at Winston's; then send your trains on the road to Trenton to Long's Spring or