Washington, June 18, 1863 - 9.40 a. m.
Major-General BURNSIDE, Cincinnati, Ohio:
Asboth was authorized to temporarily detain troops in case of necessity. I doubt, however, if such necessity really existed. I am satisfied that Bragg has no considerable force in your front, and that the force in front of Rosecrans is greatly reduced. Breckinridge's and McCown's divisions and Forrest's cavalry have already reached Johnston. This seems the proper time for an advance toward East Tennessee.
H. W. HALLECK,
CINCINNATI, June 18, 1863.
Major-General HARTSUFF, Lexington, Ky.:
My object in having Carter ready was to send him into East Tennessee, as far as Jamestown, with his whole force, and to the assistance of Sanders, with a good portion of his mounted men, and finally to follow up the movement with the three East Tennessee regiments at Carthage, and Such other of your forces as you can spare, letting Gilbert take possession of Cumberland Gap, if he finds he can do it. But the movement of Gilbert into Whitley County, of which I knew nothing, and the short allowance of beef-cattle would seem to require that the movement should be delayed.
How soon can 150 or 200 head of cattle, with, say, forty days' salt, reach Carter? How long will it take the three East Tennessee regiments to march from Carthage to Celina? Would you have force enough without them or Carter to render fair protection to the line from Williamsburg down? I can probably give you two more regiments of infantry. Please ascertain, by telegraphing to Mount Vernon and Somerset, the whereabouts, as near as possible, of Gilbert; and if he is at or near Boston now, he had better be instructed by courier to remain there if possible, or even move farther to the front, to render aid to Sanders, if needed.
Please communicate with Carter and Mount Vernon to-high, and communicate the result to me as early as possible to-morrow morning. Get a descent answer from Carter as to his ability to increase his supply of beef-cattle, from his neighborhood, to 150 or 200 head. If he can do so, extra rations of salt can be sent down very quickly in wagons, loaded light.
A. E. BURNSIDE,
[JUNE 19, 1863.- For Halleck to Burnside, in reference to administration of military affairs in the loyal States, see Series III.]
CINCINNATI, June 19, 1863 - 1.15 a. m.
I propose to move the principal part of Carter's division, with the three East Tennessee regiments at Carthage, to the neighborhood of Knoxville, with instructions to hold, if possible, that part of the country between the Clinch and Holston Rivers, until he can be re-enforced.