HDQRS. DEPT. WESTERN VIRGINIA AND EAST TENNESSEE, Dublin, October 14, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: It is reported-with truth I do not know-that the main body of General Burnside's force has not joined General Rosecrans, but it free to operate from Knoxville in this direction. It is certain that a part of his force has driven from East Tennessee the few troops I left there.
Extracts from Northern papers indicate that General Hooker is moving with a large force to operate on the line of railroad through East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.
I know nothing whatever of General Bragg's movements and plans, but if he is not so pressing General Rosecrans as to make it necessary that the latter should have with him all available troops in Kentucky and Tennessee, it seems to me so obviously wise on the part of the enemy to occupy East Tennessee, and operate from there on Southwest Virginia and along the line of the Virginia and East Tennessee Railroad, that I cannot suppose they will fail to do so.
Again, Brigadier-General Scammon failed to co-operate with Brigadier-General Averell in his raid in August last, as it was reported he was to have done, and since then he has permitted me to withdraw a part of my troops from his front to meet the enemy in East Tennessee without making any move whatever against me. If the enemy proposes to operate against us from East Tennessee, Brigadier-General Scammon will hardly be permitted by his Government to remain as inactive as he has heretofore done, but will make some move to engage the attention, at least, of my troops in Greenbrier and Mercer.
If the enemy operates as I have indicated, large re-enforcements must be sent to this department, or much of this part of the State will be overrun by the enemy.
If General Rosecrans is so pressed as to need the troops under Generals Burnside and Hooker, a few brigades at least will, in all probability, be left in upper East Tennessee to enable the enemy to procure the abundant supplies of provisions in that section of country. The purchasing agent for the counties of Jefferson, Greene, Cocke, and Grainger reported to me that those four counties alone could supply the Government with 100,000 barrels of flour and 1,500,000 pounds of pork, besides other stores. If the enemy leaves only a few brigades there we should send against them a sufficient force to drive them out and gather the supplies we so much need. I know that the Government cannot at this time meet all the demands upon it for troops, but I have thought it my duty to present the foregoing views for your consideration and such action as you may think proper.
With great respect, your obedient servant,
DUBLIN, October 14, 1863.
JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
Brigadier-General Williams reports the enemy in large force moving on Bristol. Williams falling back to Abingdon. Five new