LENOIR'S, November 15, 1863.
We will try to be in Knoxville some time to-morrow. If possible, by any means in your power, I desire the place held until we arrive. The enemy are now pressing us. The fighting far has not been very serious. I hope that we may be able to join you without trouble. Let the inhabitants of the town, if the enemy shell it, get into the cellars and give warning to Colonels Temple and Baxter, Mr. Morrow, Dr. Brownlow, and other prominent Union citizens of our force being compelled to leave the city.
I sincerely wish that I was with you, but know that you will do all that is possible for any one to do.
The members of my staff that are with you will, I am sure, render you every assistance in their power.
A. E. BURNSIDE,
LENOIR'S, Tennessee, November 15, 1863.
We drove the enemy from just beyond Loudon to within 1 mile of their bridge, and rested on our arms during the night. In the mean time I received a dispatch from Grant (a copy of which you can get from Johns), which determined us to fall back on this place, and finally upon Knoxville. It will not be our policy to make a hasty retreat.
It is possible that we may have a decisive battle before we can join you. It is necessary in the present programme that you should hold Knoxville to the last moment. Bring Cameron into the interior line on the opposite side of river; put your artillery in position; bring in cattle and hogs to last you several days; if it becomes necessary, loop-hole the houses and put the new troops in them; and, in short, do everything that is necessary to promote the main object, which is to keep Longstreet in check for five or six days. Johns will translate all the ciphers for you, and I leave it to your own judgment to carry out the views and details of General Grant and myself. I will join you soon as possible, but it is possible that our advance may be somewhat impeded by the enemy. In Sanders' dispatch of last night he spoke of the capture of the Eleventh Kentucky. Please inform me definitely in reference to the exact state of that regiment.
What do you hear from Willcox?
A. E. BURNSIDE.
KNOXVILLE, Tennessee, November 15, 1863.
The following just received from Sanders:
WILLIAMS' MILL, November 15, 1863.
The patrol went into Rockford last night, but met the enemy's pickets this morning.
Some firing is or was, a few minutes ago, going on the front toward Maryville, and also on the right toward Louisville across the river. During the night rockets