War of the Rebellion: Serial 056 Page 0127 Chapter XLIII. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-UNION.

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IX. Brig. Gen. R. W. Johnson, U. S. Volunteers, is assigned to the command of the First Division, Fourteenth Army Corps.

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By command of Major-General Thomas:

WM. McMICHAEL,

Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.

KNOXVILLE, November 12, 1863.

Major-General GRANT:

Your dispatch of the 8th received. We will endeavor to hold in check any force that comes against us until Thomas is ready. We are now most in dread of cavalry raids to cut off our trains. It is said Wheeler is coming up to the line of the Little Tennessee. Our cavalry is not in the best condition. This country certainly ought to be held,if possible, until Thomas can force the enemy back.

A. E. BURNSIDE,

Major-General.

KNOXVILLE, November 12, 1863-11 p.m.

Major-General GRANT:

GENERAL: Mr. Dana and I arrived here this evening, having struck the railroad at Lenoir's and come thence by cars. Found everything quiet and no sign of any unusual activity on the part of the enemy.

J. H. WILSON,

Lieutenant-Colonel,&c.

KNOXVILLE, November 12, 1863.

Major-General GRANT:

Copies of the following dispatches sent to the President of the United States in answer to a request from him are sent to you. They should have been sent through the proper channel, but were sent directs to save time:

KNOXVILLE, November 12, 1863.

Your dispatch received. The telegraph-lines have been down since Saturday night, so that we could not communicate with General Grant. Our loss at Rogersville was about 500 old troops and 150 new troops, 4 pieces of artillery, and 36 wagons, with all the the baggage and ammunition of the two regiments and a battery. The principal loss was in the Second Tennessee Mounted Infantry. The Seventh Ohio Cavalry lost about 100 men, and Phillips' (Illinois) battery about 40. The force at that point consisted of these two regiments and the Phillips battery, with some recruits for a new Tennessee regiment. The rebel attacking force amounted to 3,500 mounted men, under General Sam. Jones. They captured about 600 horses and equipments and many stand of small-arms.

An investigation is being made as to the cause of defeat. I at first thought it was the result of carelessness on the part of the commanding officer, Colonel Garrard, and want of steadiness on the part of the men, but as the investigation progresses I am becoming satisfied that it is the result of the necessity for holding so long a line between two formidable forces of the enemy. It seems impossible to be sufficiently watchful to prevent trouble when so many points are as-ailable. We were holding the line from Washington, on the Tennessee River, to the Watauga. The troops of this command have behaved so well that I shall be glad to find that no one was censurable for the defeat.

I send you a cipher dispatch. We were all rejoined to hear of the successes in Western Virginia and in the Army of the Potomac.