WINCHESTER, [January] 5, 1863.
Colonel [ED. C.] Cook, Wartrace:
Colonel Strawbridge maws sent to attend to the matter referred to. Withdraw all troops in front of Wartace, except cavalry, and burn the bridges. Put your command south of Duck River, say at Normandy. Report when cavalry arrives.
HEADQUARTERS POLK'S CORPS,
Army of Tennessee, January 5, 1863.
Colonel ED. C. COOK,
Comdg. Thirty-second Tennessee Regiment Vols., Wartrace:
COLONEL: Your communication to Colonel W. Brent has been handed to Lieutenant-General Polk, who directs me to say that Brigadier-General Wharton has been ordered to cover and protect the railroad until all the stores have been removed. As soon as the stores are removed, you can retire your command to Tullahoma, and are directed to do so.
By command of Lieutenant-General Polk:
W. B. RICHMOND,
Richmond, January 5, 1863.
Captain L. P. GRANT,
Provisional Engineers, Atlanta, Ga.:
CAPTAIN: The exigencies of service force me to call on you for additional duty. The destruction of the Watauga and Holston bridges, East Tennessee Railroad, breaks a line of military communication vital to the army in the West. It is essential that these bridges should be rebuilt in some form, at the earliest possible moment. I rely upon you to accomplish this. You will please proceed to the ground without delay, and make all needful arrangements for the reconstruction, and employ bridge-builders and other men of skill to do the work. You will procure materials from every possible source, and appeal to the railroad companies of Georgia and Tennessee to aid you in every possible way within their power. The expenses of construction will be paid by the Government, and to this end funds will placed to your credit at an early day at Chattanooga, Tenn. You are authorized by the Secretary of War to do everything that will hasten the completion of the bridges. Appeal to other roads for assistance; urge full concert of action with you upon the East Tennessee Railroad Company to impress materials and labor, and call on the commanders of troops for details of men, if necessary.
An assistant engineer will be sent to you at once. As soon as you can get the bridges under full construction, you will meet Profesor Thomassy at Atlanta, to receive his views in detail, with drawings of the works necessary to the production of salt by solar evaporation. The profesor then will go to Europe, by authority of the War Department, to employ persons skilled in the manufacture of salt.