September 27, 1863
---Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman finally receives orders to march with most of the Army of the Tennessee to the aid of Rosecrans in Chattanooga. Sherman puts his troops on the road immediately---two corps, about 20,000 men. Gen. Stephen Hurlbut, in western Tennessee, begins to ready his troops also.
---Gen. Halleck is becoming impatient with Gen. Burnside in Knoxville who, by any account, has not made even a gesture toward relieving what is now clearly a siege of Chattanooga. Halleck is uncharacteristically blunt:
Your orders before leaving Kentucky, and frequently repeated since, were to connect your right with General Rosecrans’ left, so that, if the enemy concentrated on one, the other would be able to assist. General Rosecrans was attacked on Chickamauga Creek and driven back to Chattanooga, which he holds, waiting for your assistance. Telegram after telegram has been sent to you to go to his assistance with all your available force, you being the judge of what troops it was necessary, under the circumstances, to leave in East Tennessee. The route by which you were to reach General Rosecrans was also left to your discretion. . . . The substance of all telegrams from the President and from me is, you must go to General Rosecrans’ assistance, with all your available force, by such route as, under the advices given you from here and such information as you can get, you may deem most practicable. The orders are very plain, and you cannot mistake their purport. It only remains for you to execute them.