1846, served in the Mexican War and held various assignments in the Corps of Engineers before the Civil War. In charge of fortifications in Charleston harbor before the surrender of Fort Sumter, he rose to the command of the Dept. of Va. and N. C., becoming maj. gen. of vols. as of July 18, 1862. On Nov. 16, 1863, he was ordered to relieve Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside in command of the Dept. and Army of the Ohio. Ibid., p. 166. On Nov. 24, 8:30 P. M., USG telegraphed to Foster, Cincinnati. "Do you hear any thing from Burnside? Battle has been raging since 2. P. M. yesterday. So far we have captured many prisoners and a part of Missionary Ridge, and the point of Lookout Mountain—" Copies, DLC-USG, V, 34, 35; DNA, RG 393, Military Div. of the Miss., Letters Sent; ibid., Dept. of the Ohio (Cincinnati), Telegrams Received; ibid., Telegrams Sent. O. R., I, xxxi, part 3, 239. On Nov. 25, Maj. Nathaniel H. McLean, Foster's adjt., Cincinnati, telegraphed to USG. "Gen'l Foster left yesterday for Knoxville your telegram received and telegraphed forward. Nothing heard from Gen'l Burnside, since Gen'l Foster left." Copies, DNA, RG 393, Dept. of the Ohio (Cincinnati), Telegrams Sent; ibid., Military Div. of the Miss., Telegrams Received. On Nov. 25, Foster, Camp Nelson, Ky., telegraphed to USG. "Your despatch forwarded to me—No late news from Burnside—I am on my way to Knoxville by way of Cumberland Gap If I find Burnside invested shall take troops from the Gap & try to break the investment" Telegram received, ibid., RG 94, War Records Office, Dept. of the Tenn.; copy, ibid., RG 393, Military Div. of the Miss., Telegrams Received. O. R., I, xxxi, part 3, 247.
Head Quarters, Mil. Div. of the Miss.
Chattanooga Ten. Nov. 25th 1863,
MAJ. GEN. SHERMAN,
No doubt you witnessed the handsome manner in which Thomas' troops carried Missionary Ridge this afternoon, and can feel a just pride too in the part taken by the forces under your command in taking first so much of the same range of hills, and then in attracting the attention of so many of the enemy as to make Thomas' part certain of success. The next thing now will be to relieve Burnside. I have heard from him to the evening of the 23d. at that time he had from ten to twelve days supplies and spoke hopefully of being able to hold out that length of time.
My plan is to move your forces out gradually until they reach the rail-road between Cleveland & Dalton. Granger will move up the South side of the Tennessee with a column of 20.000 men