CHATTANOOGA, November 24, 1863.
Brig. General O. B. WILLCOX,
Telegraph General Boyle to make such disposition of his forces as may be necessary to guard your line of supplies. Can you not move a mounted force on Abingdon and Saltville? Fighting has been going on here for two days, and as soon as possible I shall send a force up the valley sufficient to relieve Burnside if he holds out. If you can communicate this fact to him, do so.
U. S. GRANT,
HDQRS. SPEAR'S BRIG., EAST TENNESSEE VOL. INFANTRY,
Sale Creek, Tennessee, November 24, 1863.
Maj. General J. J. REYNOLDS,
Chief of Staff, Department of the Cumberland:
GENERAL: I have received information from several points picketed by my forces that the enemy have entirely disappeared from the river, and are marching toward Chattanooga; and I have learned from several deserters just in that all the troops on the south side of the river had been ordered to march, but they do not agree as to their destination. Some say it is Knoxville, while others say it is Georgia; but be that as it may, they are going somewhere. I have several scouts ready to cross the river to-night, and will be in possession of the particulars by to-morrow, and will dispatch to you as soon as received. My forces are picketing the river for some 60 miles at the following points: Smith's Ferry, Lock's Ferry, Cotton Port, Blythe's Ferry, Doughty's Ferry, mouth of Sale Creek, Thatcher's Ford, mouth of Soddy Creek, Penny's Ford, Igou's Ferry, Dallas, and Harrison's Landing. As soon as I receive the returns I will give you a full statement as to numbers. All is reported quiet above. If you are writing in this direction, please give me the latest news that you have. I am out in the wilderness where I never hear anything reliable.
I remain, your obedient servant,
JAMES G. SPEARS,
HEADQUARTERS NINTH ARMY CORPS, November 24, 1863-a.m.
General PARKE, Headquarters:
GENERAL: I am of opinion that to recover the ground lost last night, I shall have to attack with the whole of Colonel Hartranft's force, and therefore will require something to put in their place, say Reilly's brigade (I mean the one I spoke of last night). I don't think that artillery is going to do anything toward driving them out. I have sent an order to Colonel Hartranft to make his arrangements to attack at daylight. General Ferrero has recovered the whole of his line, which is now the same as yesterday,and has completed his abatis from the fort to the river and has completed his wire entanglement.
Your obedient servant,
ROBERT B. POTTER,