who was on his way, to expedite his march, cautioning both of the presence of the enemy and of the necessity of exercising great caution. I think I will order Hascall up from Concord, leaving only a regiment there to collect supplies. If the enemy should get in rear of Foster this town has just now very inadequate protection, unless I should bring more troops.
From all the information I can get, I am at a loss to determine the real objects of the enemy. Information deemed perfectly reliable comes from Sullivan County that a dispatch had been received at Bristol that East Tennessee must be held at all hazards; that all the force needed could be sent from Virginia.
I will establish a courier line to you to-day. The line will not work either to Loudon or Morristown. Am trying to find the reason. If you have taken the gap, would it not be a good plan to send the cavalry in rear of the attacking force? I cannot hear from you. The streets, however, are full of rumors of various kinds from the gap. All goes well at Loudon. No news from Byrd, although I sent orders for him to report daily. Shall I issue arms to home guards properly organized?
The ammunition train is unloaded and ready to return as soon as I can hear from you that they can go through the gap in accordance with your instructions to me. If they cannot soon go that way, had they not better start by some other route? Forage for the mules is a serious item every day they remain.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. L. HARTSUFF,
HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., FOURTH DIV., 23rd ARMY CORPS,
Athens, Tenn., September 10, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel GEORGE B. DRAKE,
I have the honor to inform you that my command is now at Athens, Tenn. I can hear of no rebel forces on this side of the Hiwassee River. It is certain that the Charleston bridge is burned; also that the three steam-boats that went up the Hiwassee River are burned. It is reported here on reliable authority that General Rosecrans is in possession of Chattanooga. The best information I can obtain places the rebel forces in retreat to Atlanta, Ga.
R. K. BYRD,
HEADQUARTERS TWENTY-THIRD ARMY CORPS,
Knoxville, Tenn., September 10, 1863.
Colonel J. W. FOSTER,
Commanding Second Brigade, Fourth Division:
The general commanding the corps directs you to hold Greeneville as long as you can without risk of capture or serious loss, until re-enforcements can reach you. The Ninth Ohio cannot be spared from here at present, but the Twelfth Kentucky Cavalry, will be ordered to report to you from Sevierville. The general desires you to send this regiment back, to report to Colonel Wolford, when the