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At eleven P. M., a dispatch was received from the General stating that he had taken a strong position for de fence, and requesting that he should be heavily reinforced. He was promptly ordered not to defer his attack, his force being already numerically superior to the enemy, and was reminded that his success depended upon the promptness and rapidity of his movements. He was further informed that Buckner's corps would be moved within supporting distance the next morning. Early on the thirteenth I proceeded to the front, ahead of Buckner's command, to find that no advance had been made on the enemy, and that objects: First to support General Thomas, in case the enemy is in force in the vicinity of Lafayette; or second, to move eastward and southward toward Rome, in case he has continued his retreat. Other verbal instructions received by my staff-officer urged upon me the importance of keeping my separate divisions in supporting distance of one another. At half-past 8 A. M. I received your dispatch of half-past 3 P. M., informing me that the enemy was in heavy force in the valley of Chattanooga, and instructing me to move my whole force across by the most available route, and as quickly as possible, to the Rossville and Lafayette road, to some defensible point between Gordon's Mills and Shield's House, and to close Wood up with me or myself to him. I at once called my general officers together, and after a long consultation and diligent inquiry of citizens as to the nature of the roads and country, gave orders to move the command in the direction ordered at five in the morn- September 12. Sent word early this morning to Colonel Wilder, who was in the advance and near Tunnel Hill, to return to Ringgold with his command, and to follow on my line of march, covering my left flank. He moved promptly and met me at Ringgold, and reported that the enemy was in force in his front last night, and that he learned from deserters that Forrest was to leave to-day to flank and cut off this command, and Wharton in an opposite direction to the same purpose. General Van Cleve with the train, moved to Pecler's and met no enemy; General Palmer to Gilbert's, where he met some squads of the enemy, and skirmished with
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