Alabama, Chattanooga should be turned over to Burnside, and your army, or such part of it as may not be required there, should move to prevent Bragg from reentering Middle Tennessee. General Hurlbut will aid you all he can, but most of Grant's available force is west of the Mississippi.
Headquarpers of the army, Washington, D. C., Sept. 18, 1863.I think, from all accounts, that Steele is sufficiently strong. All your available forces should be sent to Corinth and Tuscumbia to operate against Bragg, should he attempt to turn Rosecrans's right and recross the river into Tennessee. Send to General Sherman, at Vicksburgh, for reenforcements for this purpose. General Grant, it is understood, is sick in New-Orleans.
Headquarters of the army, Washington, D. C., Sept. 13, 1863.It is possible that Bragg and Johnston will move through Northern Alabama to the Tennessee River, to turn General Rosecrans's right, and cut off his communication with General Grant. Available forces should be sent to Memphis, thence to Corinth and Tuscumbia, to cooperate with General Rosecrans, should the rebels attempt that movement.
On the fourteenth, the following telegrams were sent to Generals Foster, Burnside, and Hurlbut:
Headquarters of the army, Washington, D. C., Sept. 14, 1863.Information received here indicates that part of Lee's forces have gone to Petersburgh. There are various suppositions for this. Some think it is intended to put down Union feeling in North-Carolina; others, to make an attempt to capture Norfolk; others, again, to threaten Norfolk, so as to compel us to send reenforcements there from the army of the Potomac, and then to move rapidly against Meade. Such was the plan last spring, when Longstreet invested Suffolk. It will be well to strengthen Norfolk as much as possible, and closely watch the enemy's movements. I think he will soon strike a blow somewhere.
Headquarters of the army, Washington, D. C., Sept. 14, 1864.There are good reasons why troops should be sent to assist General Rosecrans's right with all possible despatch. Communicate with Sherman to assist you, and hurry forward reenforcements as previously directed.
Headquarters of the army, Washington, D. C., Sept. 14, 1863.There are reasons why you should reenforce General Rosencrans with all possible despatch. It is believed that the enemy will concentrate to give him battle, and you must be there to help him.
In addition to General Burnside's general instructions, a number of despatches of the same purport as the above were sent to him. Generals Schofield and Pope were directed to send forward to the Tennessee line every available man in their departments, and the commanding officers in Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky, were ordered to make every possible exertion to secure General Rosecrans's lines of communication. General Meade was urged to attack General Lee's army while in its present reduced condition, or at least prevent him from sending off any more detachments. It seemed useless to send any more troops into East-Tennessee and Georgia, on account of the impossibility of supplying them in a country which the enemy had nearly exhausted. General Burnside's army was on short rations, and that of the Cumberland inadequately supplied. General Rosecrans had complained of his inadequate cavalry force, but his stables were overcrowded with animals, and the horses of his cavalry, artillery, and trains were dying in numbers for want of forage. As three separate armies were now to operate in the same field, it seemed necessary to have a single commander, in order to secure a more perfect cooperation than had been obtained with the separate commands of Burnside and Rosecrans. General Grant, by his distinguished services and his superior rank to all the other generals in the West, seemed entitled to this general command. But, unfortunately, he was at this time in New-Orleans, and unable to take the field. Moreover, there was no telegraphic communication with him, and the despatches of the thir-teenth, directed to him and General Sherman, did not reach them until some days after their dates, thus delaying the movements of General Grant's forces from Vicksburgh. General Hurlbut, however, had moved the troops of his own corps, then in East-Tennessee, with commendable promptness. These were to be replaced by reenforcements from Steele's corps, in Arkansas, which also formed a part of Grant's army Hearing nothing from General Grant, or from General Sherman's corps, at Vicksburgh, it was determined, on the twenty-third, to detach the Eleventh and Twelfth corps from the army of the Potomac, and send them by rail, under the command of General Hooker, to protect General Rosecrans's line of communication from Bridgeport