War of the Rebellion: Serial 023 Page 0685 Chapter XXVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

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are systematically moving to the occupation of East Tennessee. I can no longer, with my small force (5,000) mobilized defend the line from Cumberland Gap to Chattanooga; to prevent the separation of my force one point or the other must be given up. During the withdrawal of the troops in Powell's Valley to the relief of Chattanooga the enemy removed the obstructions from the rags leading over the Cumberland Mountains, and also obstructed and fortified the road to Cumberland Gap from Kentucky. These facts make that point comparatively un-important, and I have ordered its evacuation, concentrating toward Chattanooga for the defense of that line. Anticipating this movement the stores have already been almost entirely removed from the department.

General Stevenson, supported by Barton, will conduct the movement, while, with Reynolds' and Taylor's brigades (six regiments, 3,500), I proceed to the relief of Chattanooga. Stevenson, if not too hotly pressed, will, with his command in hand, hold the line of the railroad in the hope of co-operation from beauregard. this I hope will soon be received, for the line into Georgia by Chattanooga has always been a favorite plan of invasion, and, with the defenseless condition of Georgia and Halleck's facility for transporting his army, may be made the most dangerous move in their campaign. I have steven for an opportunity to strike a blow; the enemy have invariably retired at my approach and with every advantage would give me no opportunity. My command has been almost broken down by constantly moving from one end to the other of the line. Communicating be telegraph and acting in concert from behind natural defenses of great strength they have foiled every effort made by me. If I succeed in concentrating my force at Chattanooga I will have from 10,000 to 12,000 effective men.

The enemy are reported to have brought large supplies of arms, and in the event of occupying East Tennessee will raise and equip a large army from the disaffected population there.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. KIRBY SMITH,

Major-General, Commanding.

KNOXVILLE, TENN., June 16, 1862.

COMMANDING OFFICERS,

At Loudon and Kingston, Tenn.:

Send all disposable cavalry out toward Loudon to cover the bridge there from attack to-night. Let ;them report to commanding officer at that post any information obtained. Keep lookout for force of enemy crossing mountains toward Oliver's.

By command of Major General E. Kirby Smith:

J. F. BELTON,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

KNOXVILLE, TENN., June 16, 1862.

COMMANDING OFFICERS,

At Loudon and Kingston, Tenn.:

Keep a lookout for force of enemy of from one to three regiments East Tennesseeans coming from Oliver's toward Loudon by way of