War of the Rebellion: Serial 056 Page 0214 KY.,SW.VA.,Tennessee,MISS.,N.ALA.,AND N.GA. Chapter XLIII.

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CUMBERLAND GAP, November 21, 1863-5 p.m.

Major-General GRANT:

Your dispatch of yesterday was not received till 3.30 this p.m. I regret I did not receive it at Bean's Station. It is now too late, and something else must be decided upon to-night if possible, as there is neither forage not breadstuff for the command. A heavy rain has fallen twenty-four hours and broken up the roads.

O. B. WILLCOX,

Brigadier-General.

CUMBERLAND GAP, November 21, 1863-10.30 p.m.

Major-General GRANT:

Couriers just in; report firing continued at Knoxville at 2 o'clock this morning.

O. B. WILLCOX,

Brigadier-General.

(Same to Foster.)

CUMBERLAND GAP, November 21, 1863-12 midnight.

Major-General GRANT:

I would not have you understand from my dispatch that a small command could not remain at Cumberland Gap and hold it with the rations on hand, but I have concentrated here three times the force that would be necessary for that purpose, which would soon eat up everything here, which are only small-stores and no forage. If my communications are cut off with Kentucky, Cumberland Gap would be starved out and this whole command sacrificed, beside the great quantity of clothing and other quartermaster's stores accumulated here and all the artillery. Clinch River is past fording, and I do not see any way in which it could assist General Burnside, beyond covering his retreat from that river if he escaped. A force is moving down by Moore's Creek to-day. This is undoubtedly Williams' command. If you can operate against Longstreet, so that I can continue my communication with Kentucky, I might advance toward Abingdon by way of Jonesville, but if Knoxville falls and Wheeler's cavalry it thrown into Kentucky, my only resource would be to throw my cavalry down along the line of communication and move into Kentucky the best way I can. Cumberland River is up, and if we have more rain there is no danger of Wheeler getting into Kentucky.

O. B. WILLCOX,

Brigadier-General.

CUMBERLAND GAP, November 21, 1863.

Major-General GRANT:

Interpretation of cipher dispatch of yesterday just received. Telegraph your success to-day, and if advisable to march from here to Knoxville, I will try it, and endeavor to subsist on the country. It