and it was only yesterday that any reason for the delay was presented to me. General Cruft reports that he is ordered from the headquarters of the department to permit no trains to pass up the south side of the river. Of course I cannot be in possession of the information which has suggested this order, as I have reported from the most reliable information I have been able to obtain, as well as from much personal observation, that I regarded the route as safe, not only for single couriers, but single wagons.
The troops now posted from Whiteside's to Bridgeport, holding all of the passes, are sufficient to secure the line of the road between those points against the whole rebel army. At this end of the line I have a regiment at Wauhatchie, and have in advance of the intermediate space, a distance of only 7 miles, a cavalry picket. Unless, therefore, the major-general commanding should be in possession of information to the contrary, I request that General Cruft may be telegraphed to forward my trains by the road on the south side of the river. Should they be sent on the north side, the teams will be of but little use to the division, as I shall expect to find them crippled and broken down.
I have also to request that I may be informed whether or not General Cruft is considered as of my command, and if he is, to respectfully inquire if instructions to that officer should not be transmitted through these headquarters.
KNOXVILLE, November 11, 1863.
The telegraph-line has been down for two or three days, so that we are ignorant of your position. The enemy still keep a strong force of cavalry along the left bank of the Little Tennessee River. It is now almost certain that Cheatham's division has gone back from Sweet Water, but it is reported that Longstreet's corps has taken its place. I doubt it, but hope to hear certainly to-day. The pontoon bridge over the Clinch at Kingston is finished, and we will have another over the Tennessee just above the mouth of Little Tennessee River to-day, I hope. We are anxiously expecting intelligence of Thomas' movements.
A. E. BURNSIDE,
HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, CAVALRY CORPS, November 11, 1863-11.25 a.m.
[Maj. Gen. JOHN G. PARKE:]
GENERAL: The scouting party sent out yesterday evening has just returned. They went through Louisville, Unitia, and on to the Little Tennessee, at and below Morganton. No rebels on this side, and citizens report none over since Thursday, when a few (9) came over on foot and stole some horse and went back. The officer says