War of the Rebellion: Serial 055 Page 0049 Chapter XLIII. THE CHATTANOOGA-RINGGOLD CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

no opportunity occurred yet for me to ascertain the truth of this report. General Thomas has ordered General Palmer's corps back to Chattanooga. I have taken the liberty of detaining General Palmer until I can send a copy of your order to General Thomas.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.

CHATTANOOGA, November 29, 1863.


Commanding Fourth Corps:

It is now ascertained that up to the 26th instant Longstreet had not abandoned the siege of Knoxville. Now that Bragg's army has been driven from Chattanooga, there is no reason to suppose he will abandon the siege until forced to do so by re-enforcements sent to Burnside's aid, when he will probably take up his march eastward to rejoin Lee about Richmond, or halt where he comes to railroad communication with Richmond, but where he can still threaten East Tennessee. On the 23rd instant, General Burnside telegraphed that his rations would hold out ten or twelve days; at the end of this time, unless relieved from the outside, he must surrender or retreat. The latter will be an impossibility. You are now going for the purpose of relieving this garrison. You see the short time in which relief must be afforded or be too late, and hence the necessity for forced marches. I want to urge upon you in the strongest possible manner the necessity of reaching Burnside in the shortest time.

Our victory here has been complete, and if Longstreet can be driven from East Tennessee, the damage to the Confederacy will be the most crushing they have experienced during the war.

This important task is now intrusted to you, and it is expected that you will do your part well. Use as sparingly as possible of the rations you take with you. Replenish all you can from what you find on the road, giving receipts in order that settlements may be made with loyal persons hereafter.

Deeming what is here said [sufficient] to show you the importance of great promptitude in the present movement, I subscribe myself,



CHATTANOOGA, November 29, 1863.


News is received from Knoxville to the morning of the 27th. At that time the place was invested, but the attack on it was not vigorous, Longstreet evidently having determined to starve the garrison out. Granger is on the way to Burnside's relief, but I have lost all importance of this one. I am inclined to think, therefore, that I shall have to send you.