16th, and informed me that General Mitchell knew but little of the cavalry and its late operations, as he had not been with the command. I don't know how this is. I only know that if such is the fact, the commanding general should be informed of it. He left here about 1 o'clock on the 15th to go to Chattanooga, and General Elliot informs me that he saw him on yesterday at Decherd.
The major-general may not be informed of the condition of the Memphis railroad. Six small bridges and the culverts are destroyed along this road between here and Flint River, and at this point General Morgan informs me that it will require four weeks to rebuild the brigade. General Crook's cavalry are encamped near this bridge, and I have taken the liberty to direct him to move toward Larkinsville if he should find it impossible in the present condition of the roads to subsist his command, but not to leave if he can avoid it, as he is surrounded by some beautiful fields of corn. From the news-papers Sherman's forces should be in the vicinity of Courtland; but this is conjecture, for I do not know officially that he is coming that way at all. It is rumored that Joe Johnston is at Clinton, with 15,000 conscripts to dispute his advance; but this I can trace to no reliable source. General Garfield left here last night. I learned last night that the train for the Eleventh Corps had reached Decherd, having been delayed by the effects of the storm. I know nothing of those provided for the Twelfth Corps. As my command is entirely without cavalry, I request that the usual force of that arm of the service may be directed to report to me. If this is done, I will try to have them put in proper condition for service.
The rebel mail forwarded yesterday was taken from the person of Captain Kennedy,assistant inspector-general of General Wheeler's staff who is now here.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Chattanooga, October 18, 1863.
It will be necessary to make extraordinary efforts to get the road passable from Bridgeport to Jasper. Also to have rations thrown into Stevenson as rapidly as possible. It will require almost superhuman efforts to sustain us here.
That steam-boat must be got ready so that we can freight to Shellmound, and thus shorten our wagon transportation. This will require us to hold both sides of the river and fortify, but make our depot on this side. I must confide the pushing up of the repairs to the wagon roads and seeing that our supplies are brought forward to your care, as the remoteness of our position and the necessity of the active authority and intervention of officers of high rank are absolutely necessary to the preservation of our army.
W. S. ROSECRANS,