On October 17, 1863, Union Major General William Rosecrans was relieved of command of the Army of the Cumberland and replaced by Major General Ulysses S. Grant. General Grant ordered Major General George H. Thomas to replace General Rosecrans until Grant’s arrival in Chatanooga. He ordered General Thomas to hold Chattanooga at all costs to which Thomas replied “We will hold the town till we starve.” General Grant arrived in Chattanooga on October 23.
The following Robert Patterson letter was written some time after General Rosecrans’ removal from command. The letter is undated and may have been censored. In his letter, Robert writes that Rosecrans deserved being removed from command for the way he failed to take care of his army. The letter also comments on the 12th Corps’ passage through Ohio, especially Xenia, in September and Robert’s need for clothing — particularly boots. (Transcript of Robert Patterson Letter, October 1863)