War of the Rebellion: Serial 056 Page 0206 KY.,SW.VA.,Tennessee,MISS.,N.ALA.,AND N.GA. Chapter XLIII.

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body, but cannot tell where. At Knoxville some shelling reported yesterday afternoon by the telegraph operator at 2 o'clock. I have no particular. Morristown telegraph station was abandoned by Colonel Davis last night at dark. Have sent Colonel Graham to Blain's Cross-Roads, hoping to open communication with Knoxville by cavalry, but a division of rebels is reported on the north side of Knoxville. Cannonading was thought to be heard here at daylight in the direction of Knoxville. Clinch Mountain Gap is very bad. The Clinch River ford is bad, but I hope my rear guard will get over Clinch River this evening.

O. B. WILLCOX,

Brigadier-General.

(Same to Grant.)

BEAN'S STATION, Tennessee, November 20, 1863. (Received 6.40 p.m.)

Maj. General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief:

I was instructed by General Burnside that the security of the retreat of my forces to Cumberland Gap was the first object, in case my communication by telegraph was cut off from him. On the evening of the 17th telegraphic communication was stopped. I was then at Bull's Gap. The time of leaving there was left to my judgment. I made a demonstration of Rogersville,and sent scouting parties on Greeneville, Snap's Ferry, and Bobb's Mill roads, securing the ford below Rogersville with my cavalry,and moved my infantry to Russellville, and at the same time ordered scouts and telegraph-line repairers from Morristown toward Knoxville. I waited at Russellville until noon of the 18th. Reports were current that a heavy force of rebel cavalry crossed at Strawberry Plains. I then determined to concentrate my forces near this point. I ordered my troops to abandon Morristown, but the telegraph-wires left connected at Morristown from Knoxville. Though still cut off, on arriving here I found the line had been cut 6 miles from Knoxville and was repaired. Sent a force, under Colonel Davis, to Morristown with an operator, and established telegraphic communication with Cumberland Gap and Knoxville. General Burnside instructed me that while it was important to guard the Rogersville road, it was more important to secure Cumberland Gap, and this has determined my present move to Tazewell. I hope it will meet with your approval.

O. B. WILLCOX,

Brigadier-General.

(Same to Grant.)

TAZEWELL, Tennessee, November 20, 1863-9 p.m.

(Received 12.40 p.m., 21st.)

Maj. General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief:

My cavalry penetrated the enemy's line of pickets around Knoxville this morning. From prisoners and other sources, they learn that the enemy made an assault upon General Burnside's position yesterday and carried two intrenchments. The enemy lost heavily