to do much under present circumstances. Indeed, I have thought, as suggested in your dispatch of the 12th instant,* that it was most important to prepare for future operations.
J. M. S[CHOFIELD].
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Chattanooga, February 22, 1864-1 a. M.
Commanding Fourteenth Army Corps:
GENERAL: A scout just in reports that Cleburne's division with Wharton's cavalry brigade are at La Fayette this mornign and expect to be in McLemore's Cove by 10 a. M. You had better not advance toward Ringgold any farther than you now are. Reconnoiter in the direction of Pond Spring, and if the report is found to be true endeavor to fall upon Cleburne's flank and drive him back against the mountain, unless he retires. In case it becomes necessary to move toward McLemore's Cove leave a force to observe the road between this place and Ringgold, with orderse to informyou of all movements on that road. Send me the earliest information you can get as to the true position of the enemy.
GEO. H. THOMAS.
HEADQUARTERS ELEVENTH CORPS,
February 22, 1864
Cleburne's division of the rebel army is reported at La Fayette with intention of moving into McLemore's Cove this morning. He may attack the railroad between here and Bridgeport. Keep your troops on the alert and throw the cavalry as far to the front as practicable. Send timely information of any approach of the enemy at once. Acknowledge the receipt of this dispatch.
By command of Major-General Howard:
C. W. ASMUSSEN,
Chief of Staff.
Telegraph operator will inform the commanding officer at Whiteside's and Bridgeport at the same time.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO, Numbers 54
February 23, 1864.
* * * *
8. Colonel S. A. Strickland, commanding Fiftieth Ohio Infantry, will report with his command to Major-General Stoneman, commanding Twenty-third Army Corps, for duty.
* * * *
By command of Major-General Schofield:
HENRY CURTIS, Jr.,
*See VOL. XXXII, Part II, p. 374.