a retreat before General Shackelford invested the post, or, at any rate, before General Burnside arrived with additional forces. To this I might satisfactorily allege my orders to hold the place from General Buckner; but in addition I may remark that I had no right to infer a want of ability on his part to relieve me, or to delay a surrender, at least. After the appearance of General Shackelford the hazard of an evacuation became every hour more imminent, and in view of the safety of the salt-works at Abingdon (which the chances of reaching were so feeble), in case of a pursuit of my force in that direction would endanger, I abandoned all idea of escape at so great a sacrifice of life.
JNumbers W. FRAZER.
NOTE.-The President in his message says that by the surrender of the gap the enemy effected an entrance into East Tennessee and severed the connection between that State and Virginia, and profiting by his easy success pushed boldly on Chattanooga and compelled its evacuation. Now, the facts are that Knoxville was in quiet possession of Federal forces several days before September 9, and the newspapers, if I remember, stated that Chattanooga was abandoned by us on the 6th and occupied by Rosecrans on the 7th.
(See reports of Generals Bragg and Buckner for facts.)
J. W. F.
KNOXVILLE, August*21, [1863.]
Send all wagons except brigade transportation from Cumberland Gap to this point. Send a courier to meet wagons on the way with stores to you and order them back to Knoxville by forced marches. Establish your depot on the top of the mountain and hold the position at all hazards. Should the enemy break through between Big Creek Gap and Cumberland Gap we shall check him in the valley. Keep the two batteries of light artillery if you think advisable.
Make arrangements for supply of water in your stronghold on the east side of the gap.
Chief of Staff.
KNOXVILLE, August 22, 1863.
All wagons of Gracie's and Trigg's brigades engaged in hauling for Cumberland Gap must be sent back to Knoxville at the earliest possible moment. Use your own wagons for transportation of supplies from Morristown to the gap. No ammunition for rifled pieces can be procured here, with exception of a few Hotchkiss shot, which will be sent. Inform me by telegraph of amount of provisions on hand.
Chief of Staff.