As Zollicoffer's troops advanced, Garrard's requests for aid became more desperate:
On October l9th, with time running out, Brigadier General Albin Scheopf was ordered to take command of Camp Wildcat. Coming with him were the reinforcements Garrard had so urgently requested. Troops from the 33rd Indiana Infantry, 17th, 14th and 38th Ohio Infantries, and Battery B of the Ohio Light Artillery were ordered to move to the camp as quickly as possible.
The 1st and 2nd East Tennessee (USA) were also enroute. In order to reach Wildcat before the Confederates, they had to negotiate roads so deep with mud that it reached the axles on their wagons.
Zollicoffer's force passed London on October 20th, and advanced rapidly toward Garrard's undermanned position. Fortunately for Garrard, Union reinforcements began arriving late that morning. By nightfall, Camp Wildcat had a new commander and more than triple the number of troops that were present when the day began.
It was their first battle. All their faces wore a serious expression.