vinced from the reports he has received that the railroad can be put in running order with scarcely any more labor than will be required to make the wagon road passable for loaded trains, and the advantages in favor of the railroad when completed will repay us for much additional labor.
Colonel Innes, military superintendent of railroads, will be instructed to provide track and track-layers as fast as the
road-bed is ready for them. You can therefore withdraw the force now working upon the wagon road from Bridgeport to Battle Creek, except a sufficient force to make a few judicious repairs-such as will enable empty trains to pass over it-and put them on the railroad to prepare the bed and get out the necessary ties.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
(Copy to Major-General Howard.)
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Chattanooga, October 17, 1863-10 p.m.
If the enemy should attempt to cross the Tennessee in force above us, it will be necessary for your command to come up. The general commanding directs you to make such preliminary preparations as will enable you to move promptly and effectually. To this end the Twelfth Corps ought to be as far down as is consistent with the protection of the exposed points of the railroad. The presence of our cavalry in the direction of Athens, as directed in the order to General Mitchell sent to your care, will secure us against heavy raids in the direction of the lower Valley of the Tennessee.
Your artillery will not be indispensable since we have sixteen reserve batteries, which we cannot keep equipped for want of
horse-feed. The horses will be sent up the valley soon if we do not get forage.
If Sherman comes in from Huntsville the general commanding will be able to concentrate and move your entire strength at once, according to circumstances. We must have the river, and that soon. He desires you to send scouts to obtain news from Sherman, and to directs General Crook to do so also. Generals Mitchell and Crook must keep open communication with you, and carry out the orders for foraging. The general commanding desires careful estimates of the available forage in the country where they are.
I am, general, very respectfully,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, TWELFTH ARMY CORPS, Decherd, Tenn., October 17, 1863-8 a.m.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Twelfth Corps:
COLONEL: Your telegraph of 16th is just received. I succeeded yesterday in getting rations from Stevenson, but two divisions of hungry cavalry coming in, I was obliged to divide with them.