Stations were established at Murfreesborough, Readyville, Triune, La Vergne, and Franklin. Triune and La Vergune were both about 12 miles from Murfreesborough. Readyville about 8 and Franklin about 4 miles from Triune. Messages could be transmitted from one station to the other with the greatest celerity and frequently communication was had between headquarters at Murfreesborough and the above-named stations by signal when there was no other means of communication but by sending a force to protect the messenger.
When Van Dorn attacked Franklin re-enforcements were directed how to move to give the greatest assistance to the garrison by message sent from Murfreesborough to Triune by signal. Repeated instances of its great usefulness occurred at Murfreesborough, also on the advance toward Bridgeport, particularly at Hoover's Gap during the engagement at that place. Before crossing the Tennessee daily information was received at headquarters of the operations of the different detachments of the army on the north side of the river and in the direction of Chattanooga through the signal line.
The corps was also equally useful after the army crossed the Tennessee and until its concentration at this place after the battle of Chickamauga.
Since our arrival here the value of the system has time and again been most clearly demonstrated by the great amount of information of the movements of the enemy, obtained and transmitted to headquarters by its aid, which could not have possibly been obtained by any other means in time to have been of use.
During the recent battle here the officers of the corps rendered most valuable service by observing and signaling information of every movement of the enemy within the range of their telescopes.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. H. THOMAS.
Major-General of Volunteers, Commanding.
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Chattanooga, December 11, 1863.
Maj. General O. O. HOWARD,
Commanding Eleventh Army Corps:
GENERAL: Bring down with you all the pontoon-boats at or near the Hiwassee.
By order of Major General U. S. GRANT:
GEO. K. LEET,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Chattanooga, Tennessee, December 11. 1863
Brigadier General W. L. ELLIOTT,
Chief of Cavalry, Kingston or Knoxville:
If you do not reach East Tennessee in time to join in the pursuit of Longstreet, you will take up a position on the northeast side of the Hiwassee, pushing out posts as far southeast as possible, to observe the movements of the enemy. Report your position at as early a