the subordinate commanders of the Army of the Cumberland were summoned twice to department headquarters to have the plan of operations explained to them and to receive their instructions. The original plan of operations was briefly: The force of Major-General Sherman was to cross the Tennessee River at the mouth of South Chickamauga Creek, ascend the northeastern flank of Mission Ridge (which here just against the river), sweep along the ridge and take the enemy's intrenchments, both at its base and on its crest, in flank and reverse.
Two divisions of the Fourth Army Corps, General Sheridan's and my own, were to cross Citico Creek near its mouth, just above Chattanooga, move up the peninsula inclosed between the creek and the Tennessee River, form a junction with the right flank of General Sherman's force, swing to the right and sweep along the lower slope and the base of Mission Ridge. The remaining force in Chattanooga was to make a demonstration against the enemy's works directly in front of Chattanooga, while at the same time looking out for the safety of the town against a counter-attack. The force in Lookout Valley (General Hooker's) was to threaten Lookout Mountain.
It was conceded that a direct front attack of the enemy's works on Mission Ridge could not be made with a reasonable prospect of success; or, if such an attack should be successful, it could only be so at a great and unnecessary cost of life. In pursuance of this plan orders were issued on Friday, the 20th, to be prepared to move at daylight the following morning. It was directed that the men should have 100 rounds of ammunition on their persons, and two days' cooked rations in their haversacks. A heavy fall of rain Friday afternoon and night, with other causes of delay, prevented General Sherman's command from reaching in time the point at which he was to pass the river, consequently the movement intended to be made at daylight Saturday morning was postponed. On Sunday, the 22d, the orders of the preceding Friday were revered. The failure of General Sherman's command to be, Sunday night, at the rendezvous assigned it, caused a further postponement of the movement of the troops to co-operate immediately with it.
To a just understanding of the subsequent movements of my division, it should be remarked that during the whole of Sunday, the 22d, much movement, some of it singular and mysterious, was observed in the rebel army. Officers in command of grand guards and outposts were instructed to observe the greatest vigilance Sunday night, to send out patrols frequently-as near as possible to the enemy's picket line-and to report promptly all information if interest.
At 12 m. on Monday, the 23d, I received the following orders:
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 23, 1863.
Commanding Fourth Army Corps:
The general commanding department directs that you throw one division of the Fourth Corps forward in the direction of Orchard Knob, and hold a second division in supporting distance, to disclose the position of the enemy, if he still remain in the vicinity of his old camps. Howard's and Baird's commands will be ready to co-operate, if needed.
J. J. REYNOLDS,
Major-General, Chief of Staff.