HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Chattanooga, November 14, 1863.
Brig. Gen. W. L. ELLIOTT,
The general commanding department directs me to state that your previous instructions are not meant to confine you to any precise locality. You will establish yourself in the country which would be about embraced by lines connecting Liberty, Lebanon, Sparta, and Carthage. Establish daily communication with Murfreesborough, whence your reports will be telegraphed to these headquarters if sufficiently urgent; otherwise forwarded by mail. This communication will be established by patrols of not less than a company, and may connect with a similar body from Murfreesborough or not, as you find best. You will draw your supplies from Murfreesborough or Nashville.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. J. REYNOLDS,
Major-General, Chief of Staff.
HDQRS. SECOND BRIG., FIRST DIV., FOURTH ARMY CORPS, Shellmound, November 14, 1863.
General J. J. REYNOLDS,
Chief of Staff:
My fortifications are in measure complete. Since my arrival I have thrown up breast-works 1,000 yards long, 10 or 12 feet at the base, sloped off to 4 or 5 feet at the top; sufficient in height to protect the men. Have also erected a fort of great strength,of earth, sufficient for six guns, having one embrasure extra, making seven embrasures. Embankment finished off 10 feet at the top; all the work well revetted. This is all at Shellmound.
At the gap at Widow Cox's, 2 miles from here, have erected good breast-works 400 to 500 yards, revetted with logs and filled with earth. Have heavy details for guarding from this to Whiteside's and repairing the roads. Have the men now engaged in putting up cabins in lieu of shelter-tents, which many of them have not. There is no enemy at Trenton unless they came in last night. Reliable information from one who left there Monday reports them at the gap in the mountains beyond Trenton (Ninth Kentucky and one Alabama regiment is all, not over 600 men), and 5 or 6 miles beyond Trenton. Same authority gives Longstreet as having a strong force in Lookout Valley toward the point of Lookout. Also stated that General Bragg has ordered all the citizens to leave Lookout Valley immediately, which they are doing as rapidly as possible. Same authority stated that the rebels would most, assuredly attack us in Lookout Valley. I give you this information as it came to me. I have the country scouted and patrolled every day. It is very heavy work for infantry; 100 or even 50 cavalry would greatly facilitate obtaining information. Give me a telegraph station here.
W. C. WHITAKER,