ABINGDON, September 6, 1863.
Honorable J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
A telegram from General Buckner just received asks that I order Brigadier-General Frazer to evacuate Cumberland Gap and fall back to this place, destroying all the stores he cannot bring away. Buckner adds, this is Bragg's order. I had, before receiving the above from Buckner, ordered Frazer to hold Cumberland Gap as long as possible, and still think he should do so, and especially in view of the fact that the party of the enemy which was advancing in this direction had fallen back toward Knoxville, &c.
It is reported here on good authority that we are sending re-enforcements to East Tennesse. I refer the matter to you. Shall I order the evacuation of Cumberland Gap? Please answer promptly. I have ordered the release of Mr. Hutchinson.
SEPTEMBER 7, 1863.
Respectfully submitted for the information of the President.
Shall I authorize the gap to be held?
JAS. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
SECRETARY OF WAR:
Generals Bragg and Buckner have no doubt acted in ignorance of the fact that General Jones had moved up with re-enforcements.
General Jones has better information, and must use discretion. My advice is that he push forward with strong force. The enemy has probably only a small detachment, if, indeed, the whole movement is not by tories. General Jones, if able to drive back the enemy.
which I hope is quite practicable, will save the railroad and the valuable position of Cumberland Gap.
HDQRS. DEPT. WESTERN VIRGINIA AND EAST TENNESSEE,
Abingdon, September 6, 1863.
Brigadier General J. W. FRAZER,
Commanding, &c., Cumberland Gap:
GENERAL: Agreeably to the request of Major-General Buckner, and under instructions from the War Department, I have assumed command temporarily of that part of Southwest Virginia embraced in the Department of East Tennessee and all the troops of that department east of Knoxville. I am not informed as to the number or description of the troops under your immediate command, or the state of your commissary and quartermaster's supplies, and am anxious to be fully informed on those points. It may be imprudent, however, to send me such information in writing, unless you have and can use the cipher and key-word used by General Buckner. If you have, inform me in cipher as fully as possible of your condition, sending the communication to me at this place by a thoroughly trustworthy