of the Court of Inquiry which has been ordered. With every disposition, not merely to do justice, but to oblige you, I feel constrained to say I think the publication better not be made now.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 14, 1863.
Colonel J. C. McKibbin, additional aide-de-camp, having reported in obedience to Special Orders, No. 11,of November 14, from headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi, is assigned to duty on the staff of the major-general commanding the department, to whom he will report in person.
By command of Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas:
WM. D. WHIPPLE,
Brigadier-General and Assistant Adjutant-General.
WASHINGTON, November 14, 1863-2.20 p.m.
Advices received from East Tennessee indicate that Burnside intends to abandon the defense of Little Tennessee and fall back before Longstreet toward Cumberland Gap and the upper valley. I am pretty certain that no re-enforcements have been sent by Lee to the Virginia Valley, and that Jones has only a small force there. He cannot seriously threaten Burnside on that side. Longstreet is said to be near the Little Tennessee, with from 20,000 to 40,000 men. Burnside has about 30,000 in all, and can hold his position. He ought not to retreat. Cannot Thomas move on Longstreet's rear and force him to fall back? A mere demonstration may have a good effect. I fear delay may result in Burnside abandonment of East Tennessee. This would be a terrible misfortune, and must be averted if possible.
H. W. HALLECK,
(Copy to Burnside.)
CHATTANOOGA, November 14, 1863.
Maj. Gen. A. E. BURNSIDE,
Can you hold the line from Knoxville to Clinton for seven days? If so, I think the whole Tennessee Valley can be secured from all present dangers.*
U. S. GRANT.
CHATTANOOGA, November 14, 1863-10 a.m.
Sherman's advance has reached Bridgeport. His whole force will be ready to move from there by Tuesday at farthest. If you can
*See also Grant to Burnside, same date, in Grant's report, Part II, p.30.
10 R R-VOL XXXI, PT III