Tuesday, September 17, 2013

September 16, 1863 (Friday): The McCooks Prepare for Battle

General Andrew McDowell McCook

HEADQUARTERS TWENTIETH ARMY CORPS, Camp 5 Miles of Stevens' Mill, September 16, 1863-3.15 p. m.
Major General G. H. THOMAS,
Commanding Fourteenth Corps:
    GENERAL: Your dispatch of 6.30 a. m. reached me here. Sheridan with two brigades of his division camps at his old camp about 9 miles of Trenton; his troops are now near there. Johnson and Davis, each with two brigades of their commands, are at Long's Spring, 3 1/2 miles above here. Sheridan will be ready to ascend the gap at Johnson's Crook at an early hour in the morning. Johnson and Davis will be ready to follow. My wagon train is yet on Lookout Mountain, and I think I will order it to our position by way of the mountain top, as I hear the road near you is a bad one.
You, of course, heard the news from Crook, capturing 18 of Fourteenth Louisiana on picket 3 miles from La Fayette. They had heard nothing of Ed. McCook this morning when I left there for summit of Lookout Mountain at 7.30 o'clock. He took his crowbars and implements for destroying railroads, and I think he is up to some devilment. I would not be surprised if we hear of him on the railroad.     This is conjecture on my part, but believe there is something in it.
     I have had a long ride and but little sleep for the last two nights, or I would be up in person this evening; but I could be of no service without my troops, and concluded to rest here to-night.
I think all of Johnston's army is at La Fayette except Loring's division, which went to Charleston. I hardly think they will fight at La Fayette. They have much better places a little farther to their rear.
      Hoping to see you in the morning, I remain, sincerely and respectfully,

      A. McD. McCOOK,

      P. S.-Please send this to General Rosecrans.
      A. McD. McC.

Official Records Series I., Vol. 30, Part 3, Pages 675-676.

McCook was one of the famous McCook family of Dayton, Ohio.  His father, seven brothers, and five cousins fought for the Union.  Three of his brothers reached the rank of general.  The assumption made here is Joe Johnston is in command of the Confederate forces.  It was, in fact, Bragg in command. 

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