War of the Rebellion: Serial 030 Page 0468 KY., MID. AND. E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA.

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[CHAP. XXXII.

HEADQUARTERS,

Chattanooga, December 29, 1862.

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General:

No information as to McMinnville. General Bragg telegraphs enemy 5 miles in our front. Coleman's regiment too late; stop it at Duck River Bridge. This is a regiment sent by General E. K. Smith to re-enforce General Bragg-the only troops he could spare.

BENJ. S. EWELL,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

DECEMBER 29 (?), 1862.

Major-General POLK:

GENERAL: Wheeler is evidently premature, and will probably prevent any attack to-day. He was deceived by the heavy guns we heard about 9.30 a.m. We have no new developments from any direction. Should it prove no enemy is in front of McCown, I propose withdrawing two of his brigades as the reserve; now I have none.

Yours, very truly,

BRAXTON BRAGG.

KNOXVILLE, December 29, 1862.

Major General SAMUEL JONES:

A courier from Pattonsville, Va., bearing dispatches to be telegraphed to General Marshall, arrived to-night at Morristown. He states that the enemy's cavalry, 4,000 in number, passing 35 miles above Cumberland Gap, are advancing on Bristol. They passed Pattonsville, Va., at 1 o'clock to-day, and had captured several prisoners. This department has been stripped of troops, and I have none to send to Bristol. I have but about 200 infantry and cavalry here, and these form the city guard, and perform courier duty. Can you not send prompt relief? If you have the cipher, send by mail some key-word which we can use in correspondence.

E. KIRBY SMITH,

Major-General, Commanding.

ABINGDON, December 29, 1862.

Major General SAMUEL JONES:

Dispatch just received from Captain S. P. Larmer, of Triggs' Rangers, Pattonsville, in Scott County, Virginia, announcing 4,000 cavalry of the enemy within 45 miles of Bristol to-day, 1 p.m., marching on that point. I have ordered my batteries at Wytheville to Abingdon, and shall order the Georgia battalion to fall back to Saltville immediately. A regiment of infantry and a battalion of horse of mine within 4 miles of Bristol; one battalion of infantry here; one regiment of cavalry in front of Hyter's Gap covers Saltville.

H. MARSHALL,

Brigadier-General.