War of the Rebellion: Serial 035 Page 0878 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.

Search Civil War Official Records

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, June 18, 1863.

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: I returned yesterday from an inspection of the troops of the department and of the Mountain Gap, from Clinton to Cumberland Gap. The troops I inspected were in a bad condition, with the exception of Gracie's brigade at Cumberland Gap. The defenses of the gaps are very imperfect; scarcely any work has been bestowed on them during the past twelve months. I set the troops at work to strengthen the defenses at Cumberland Gap at once. In connection with the chief engineer and my chief of staff, I have devised a system of small, strong defenses at the gaps, which will be commenced at once if the enemy's movements justify it, and which, when completed, will enable a small force to check for a considerable time a very large one. With the present resources at my control, it is very difficult to prevent a surprise of some of the more important gaps.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. B. BUCKNER,

Major-General, Commanding.

KNOXVILLE, June 18, 1863.

Colonel R. G. FAIN,

Cumberland Gap:

Send courier to General Gracie, with orders to move the bulk of his command to Jacksborough Gap, leaving sufficient garrison at Big Creek Gap, keeping open communication with General Frazer, who will concentrate his brigade at or near Clinton. Send tents to General Gracie's command.

V. SHELIHA,

Chief of Staff.

KNOXVILLE, June 18, 1863.

Colonel R. G. FAIN,

Cumberland Gap:

Inform General Gracie that his command will remain at Big Creek Gap until further orders.

V. SHELIHA,

Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, June 18, 1863.

Brigadier-General FRAZER,

Commanding Brigade:

GENERAL: The major-general commanding directs you, first, to collect your brigade as rapidly as possible at or near Clinton, according to circumstances; secondly, to avoid an engagement with the enemy should he occupy Kingston with a large force; but, thirdly, to try and cut him off should he cross the river in inferior strength; fourthly, to keep in constant communication with Brigadier-General Gracie, who will leave a sufficient garrison at Big Creek Gap and move the main body of his command to Jacksborough Gap, and, fifthly, to keep these headquarters fully advised of the movements of the enemy. A private dispatch was received eight hours before your official dispatch arrived.