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[6] was isolated. It was believed throughout the army that a prompt movement on the part of General Bragg in the direction of Chattanooga would have intercepted and crushed him. But the attention of the Commanding General was fixed on McCook, who had crossed Lookout mountain to the south of Lafayette, and thrown a column of observation northward to feel for his enemy.

McCook's column of observation having approached Lafayette, gave General Bragg the impression that a heavy force threatened him from that quarter. He therefore concentrated his strength at Lafayette, and Crittenden pursued his way unmolested.

On the morning of the 12th of September the nature of McCook's movement having been ascertained, attention was turned to Crittenden; as the Confederate army was not then pressed by either Thomas or McCook, its prompt movement to Chattanooga was feasible, and would have resulted in his capture. The movement was not made; what was done we shall now mention.

At 10 A. M. on the 12th September General Polk was instructed to proceed with the divisions of Cheatham and Walker, and take position at Rock Spring. Hindman's division was to follow as early as practicable.1

Rock Spring, on a road leading from Ringgold to Lafayette, is about twelve miles from Lafayette to the north, about seven from Ringgold, to the southwest, and about four and a half from Gordon's mill to the southeast.2 It marks the intersection of roads from Ringgold, Peavine church and Gordon's mill, and it was along these roads that Crittenden was believed to be advancing. Such was General Polk's information from the Commanding General and from the cavalry in his front.

General Polk's orders were to attack at daylight on the 13th September. After having placed Cheatham's and Walker's divisions so as to cover all anticipated approaches, General Polk at 8 P. M. of the same day sent a dispatch to General Bragg, in which he gave a disposition of the forces under him, made a suggestion as to the protection of his left flank, and other details.

Hindman arrived about dawn, his division was at once placed in line, Polk was ready, but there was no enemy; reconnoissances were made without avail on the roads upon which he was expected. General

1 This division, marching from its position near Dug's gap, reached Lafayette about dark on the 12th, and started for Rock Spring about 9 the same evening.

2 These measurements taken from a map prepared by Major-General Tower to show movements of Federal armies.

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