On yesterday I started to Greeneville, but was overtaken by a courier stating that 300 Yankees had attacked Lieutenant Richie and took 100 hogs from him. I immediately tacked about with 60 men and made after them. We met them, 200 strong, 5 miles of Newport, and had a brisk fight, driving the enemy back several hundred yards. We had 2 men wounded, 1 of whom is at Hawk's house, the other here. The enemy's loss, 1 captain killed and 2 men wounded. My men fought well. The wounded are of Captain Boykin's company, South Carolina cavalry.
My hogs (800) are all above the springs. Colonel Mallett has ordered Captain McRae back, and I will not let him go; it is impossible to do without him, and I wish you tolay the facts before the War Department. I am not only saving property for the Government, but threatening the enemy on his lines, and keeping him uneasy, and drawing some of his force away to watch me. Please haste to lay this matter before the authorities. The enemy went to mouth of Chucky last night. No other news excepting that heavy cannonading was heard toward Rogersville yesterday.
ROBT. B. VANCE,
P. S.-I had to let Captain Boykin go home this morning; this shears me of a good portion of my strength. Why can I not get some of General Hoke's men, or him and his whole command? The field is so inviting and I am so anxious to do something. There is also Colonel Williams' regiment at Greenville, S. C. Let it be understood at Richmond that I ask for men not to defend North Carolina simply, but to work for the Government in East Tennessee.
NOVEMBER 23, 1863.
I hope General Lee will be able to spare Hoke's remaining men to this service. The recommendation of General Vance to that effect has been commended to his favorable consideration.
J. A. SEDDON.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
November 19, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: I inclose you the copy* of a letter received yesterday from Colonel Northrop on the subject of impressment of supplies for this army. If the imperative necessity has arisen which Major Noland mentions in the paper prepared by him for Colonel Northrop, it will doubtless continue, and from Colonel Northrop's indorsement I judge the same prevails for all the armies of the Confederacy. It is not, the, a case of mere temporary exigency, like that alluded to in Paragraph II, General Orders, Numbers 31, repeated in General Orders, Numbers 144, current series, where the general commanding an army is authrorized to impress. I do not think, therefore, that I am the proper authority to command the agents of the Bureau of Sbussitence to impress supplies in the manner desired.