left undisturbed.1 Sherman
was informed of these operations in his favor.
He reached Memphis
on the 2d of October, and, by the 4th, his entire command had arrived there.
Meanwhile, the blow which Halleck
had foreseen, and striven to avert, had fallen heavily.
On the 19th and 20th of September, Rosecrans
suffered a severe repulse on the Chickamauga river, nine miles from Chattanooga
, and was compelled to retire into the latter place, with a heavy loss of artillery and the sacrifice of immense strategic advantages.
, he was nearly surrounded by a superior rebel army, and his only line of communication almost entirely cut off. On the 29th, Halleck
telegraphed to Grant
: ‘The enemy seems to have concentrated on Rosecrans
all his available force from every direction.
To meet him, it is necessary that all the forces that can be spared in your department be sent to Rosecrans
's assistance. . . . . An able commander like Sherman
should be selected.
As soon as your health will permit, I think you should go to Nashville
, and take the direction of this movement.’
On the 28th, Grant
wrote: ‘I am now ready for the field, or any duty I may be called on to perform.’
On the 30th, he said:‘All I believe is now moving according to your wishes.
I have ten thousand five hundred men to hold the river from here to Bayou Sara
’ (near Port Hudson
The same day he said: ‘I regret that there should be an apparent tardiness in complying with your orders; but I assure you that, as soon as your wishes were known, troops were forwarded as rapidly as transportation could be procured.’
To this Halleck