War of the Rebellion: Serial 053 Page 0527 Chapter XIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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KNOXVILLE, August 21, 1863.

General W. W. MACKALL,

Chief of Staff, Chattanooga:

I suppose the object of merging this department was to bring about concerted action in a plan directed by a single commander. I have not been advised of any point of concentration, of any plan of operations, or of any line of march or of conduct to pursue with a view to sustaining a general attack. Am I to infer from your dispatch last night that I am not to look to any concerted action with the rest of the army, but am thrown entirely on my own resources to defend this portion of the department without reference to any combined efforts? If so, my line of conduct and my dispositions for the defense would have been different from what they are, and will be different in the future. Please answer.

S. B. BUCKNER,

Major-General.

KNOXVILLE, August 21, 1863.

Colonel PALMER,

Big Creek Gap:

Provided there is no danger of their being intercepted, you will order the Sixty-fifth Georgia Regiment from Jacksborough to Cumberland Gap. You will move at once your regiment to Jacksborough, leaving only cavalry enough to guard Big Creek Gap, and inform us in time of the approach of the enemy. Should he appear on the mountain you will fall back on Clinton. Send the artillery at Big Creek Gap to Cumberland Gap. Move promptly, and order Colonel Moore to move at once. Cumberland Gap will be held at all hazards. Guard the main gap to your left with cavalry, and warn them against false alarms. We will be ready to receive the enemy.

V. SHELIHA,

Chief of Staff.

Telegraph operator at Clinton will send this dispatch by courier to Colonel Palmer and instruct courier to go at rate of 10 miles per hour.

KNOXVILLE, August 21, 1863.

Telegraph Operator at Clinton:

Send this telegram by courier to Colonel Palmer, commanding at Big Creek Gap: Should the enemy break through between Cumberland and Big Creek Gaps, you will fall back on Clinton. Should he threaten you on your left, then make the line of retreat to Clinton, if possible. You will fall back by Island Ford and join the main command in the direction of Knoxville or Loudon. It is expected that you will dispute every inch of the ground with the enemy.

V. SHELIHA,

Chief of Staff.