Upon the receipt of this order, if such measures have not already been taken, you will, after leaving a garrison at Murfreesborough, take all the available forces at hand, and on the road, after leaving a sufficient force to protect the bridges, &c., and push forward on the line of the railroad, attacking and dispersing the enemy wherever you find them.
It is of vital importance that the line should be opened without delay. Your infantry have nothing to fear from the cavalry, if they are outnumbered, by taking shelter in woods and houses, behind trees, and using their ammunition deliberately and carefully. Great pains must be taken to prevent any waste of ammunition, or any careless or useless firing at long ranges. Husband your supplies of all sorts, and push forward with vigor and earnestness.
If opportunity should offer for communication by returning this messenger, do so. Bring with you repairers for the telegraph-line and an operator. Cause the operators between you and Nashville to be awake and vigilant, that you may know of what is passing,and keep General Granger and the commanding officers in you rear advised of your success and the enemy's movements.
By using the trains you may be able to push forward your column more rapidly.
NASHVILLE, October 6, 1863.
General D. BUTTERFIELD,
Chief of Staff, Stevenson:
Unless otherwise ordered, I shall withdraw my troops from Murfreesborough and take up the line from Wartrace to Tantalon, as directed. If I am to protect the road this side of Wartrace, please telegraph at once. All my infantry-have two brigades-at Murfreesborough.
H. W. SLOCUM,
LOUISVILLE, October 6, 1863.
Shall we forward artillery and supplies as fast as they arrive? If so, please have all cars unloaded promptly and returned. We must have bulk of equipments at this end. If there is the slightest danger of the line being disturbed, would it not be better to strengthen the guards along the route between this and Nashville at all assailable points? The enemy certainly intend to destroy your communications if it be possible. Please answer.
THOMAS A. SCOTT,
Colonel and Aide-de-Camp.
NASHVILLE, October [6?], 1863.
General J. W. GEARY:
You will furnish all details required for work upon the railroad or telegraph. Keep your command at Murfreesborough, except