October 18, 1863: Crossing dispatches

William Rosecrans

There seems to be a bit of confusion as Rosecrans is being relieved. While Grant’s adjutant is issuing the order for Thomas to take over the Army of the Cumberland from Rosecrans, Halleck is directing Rosecrans to attack the rebels on Lookout Mountain.


No. 1.
Louisville, October 18, 1863.

Major-General Rosecrans having been relieved from the command of the Department of the Cumberland by direction of the President of the United States, per General Orders, No. 337, of October 16, 1863, Major-General Thomas is hereby assigned to the command, and will at once assume its duties. General Rosecrans will turn over all books, papers, maps, and other property pertaining to the command to Major-General Thomas. All staff officers, except the aides-de-camp authorized by law now on duty with General Rosecrans, will report to General Thomas for assignment as soon as relieved. General Rosecrans will proceed to Cincinnati, Ohio, and report to the Adjutant-General of the Army by letter for orders.

By order of Major-General Grant:
Assistant Adjutant-General.


WASHINGTON, October 18, 1863-10.40 a.m.
(Received 11 a.m., 19th.)
Major-General ROSECRANS,
Chattanooga, Tenn.:

Every available man has been sent to assist you. As fast as cavalry can be organized and equipped it will be sent forward. But you already have more men and animals than you can feed. It was for this reason that Sherman was directed to open a line on the Tennessee River to Athens. At last advices he had reached Bear Creek, and would probably cross the river at Eastport or Florence. He has already drawn a large force of the enemy against his line, thus effecting a diversion in your favor. Why give up to the enemy the passes of Lookout Mountain? By holding them can you out cover your railroad and river communications with Bridgeport? Would it not be best to regain them even at a heavy cost?



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