Rosecrans has been relieved as of yesterday, but apparently he doesn’t know it yet. He’s trying to organize Sherman and Hooker’s reinforcements.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Chattanooga, October 17, 1863-10 p.m.
If the enemy should attempt to cross the Tennessee in force above us, it will be necessary for your command to come up. The general commanding directs you to make such preliminary preparations as will enable you to move promptly and effectually. To this end the Twelfth Corps ought to be as far down as is consistent with the protection of the exposed points of the railroad. The presence of our cavalry in the direction of Athens, as directed in the order to General Mitchell sent to your care, will secure us against heavy raids in the direction of the lower Valley of the Tennessee.
Your artillery will not be indispensable since we have sixteen reserve batteries, which we cannot keep equipped for want of horse-feed. The horses will be sent up the valley soon if we do not get forage.
If Sherman comes in from Huntsville the general commanding will be able to concentrate and move your entire strength at once, according to circumstances. We must have the river, and that soon. He desires you to send scouts to obtain news from Sherman, and to directs General Crook to do so also. Generals Mitchell and Crook must keep open communication with you, and carry out the orders for foraging. The general commanding desires careful estimates of the available forage in the country where they are.
I am, general, very respectfully,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.