War of the Rebellion: Serial 053 Page 0526 Chapter XIII. KY.,SW.VA.,TENN.,MISS.,N.ALA.,AND N.GA.

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KNOXVILLE, August 21, 1863,

(Received 22nd .)

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General:

You must not expect that with my small force I can hold East Tennessee against a heavy attack. In my front are forty-three gaps, through nearly all of which cavalry and infantry can pass.

My orders to General Frazer are to defend Cumberland Gap to the last. He has four regiments. I must keep part of Preston's force to aid in protecting the salt-works.

The great length of the district compels a great dissemination of forces. To attempt to guard all points in small force would be to lose all. I therefore am collecting in a body the largest force possible, which will not exceed 7,000 to 8,000 of all arms.

I expect the main attack in the direction of Wartburg and Kingston. I therefore assemble my force in front of this point, with my base upon Loudon, to co-operate with rest of the army under General Bragg.

I trust this general plan will be approved. It accords with General Bragg's views, as I understand them.

S. B. BUCKNER,

Major-General.

KNOXVILLE, August 21, 1863.

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General:

Burnside is advancing on East Tennessee. Force heavy but numbers not known. Chiefly mounted infantry with heavy trains. Points not developed; probably by Big Creek Gap and Wartburg.

Will you ask General Jones to re-enforce me if possible? Preston covers the salt-works now.

S. B. BUCKNER,

Major-General.

KNOXVILLE, August 21, 1863.

General MACKALL,

Chief of Staff, Chattanooga:

If not proper to communicate anything more to me, please inform me whether I am to consider my line of operations as being in the direction from Loudon toward the enemy or from Abingdon. Your answer will have an important influence on my dispositions.

S. B. BUCKNER,

Major-General.

KNOXVILLE, August 21, 1863.

General MACKALL,

Chief of Staff, Chattanooga:

Intercepted letters show the enemy in very heavy cavalry force, with large trains at Crab Orchard and Standford on 17th, on the march. The advance was expected at Wild Cat (Rock Castle River) on 18th. A few Federal cavalry regiments are at and near Williamsburg.

S. B. BUCKNER,

Major-General.