CHATTANOOGA, November 25, 1863.
Maj. General J. G. FOSTER,
The great defeat Bragg has sustained in the three days' battle, terminating at dark this evening, and a movement which I will immediately make, I think will relieve Burnside, if he holds out a few days longer. I shall pursue Bragg to-morrow and start a heavy column up the Tennessee Valley the day after. Use your force to the best advantage for Burnside's relief, and for regaining what has been lost in East Tennessee.
U. S. GRANT,
CAMP NELSON, November 25, 1863.
Your dispatch forwarded to me. No late news from Burnside. I am on my way to Knoxville by way of Cumberland Gap. If I find Burnside invested shall take troops from the gap and try to break the investment.
J. G. FOSTER,
CUMBERLAND GAP, Tennessee, November 25, 1863. (Received 7.25 p.m.,27th.)
Maj. General H. W. HALLECK,
I have in contemplation a movement either toward Abingdon and Saltville, or across the Clinch River toward Knoxville, with what mounted force I have. Would it not be well to order Averell forward at once, to divert the enemy's attention, in case the move is made from here toward Abingdon and Saltville? I shall be ready day after to-morrow morning, by which time I expect to hear from General Grant. I have not been able to do anything beyond Clinch River, because it has been impassable, and for want of subsistence.
O. B. WILLCOX,
CUMBERLAND GAP, November 25, 1863.
Your dispatch of yesterday received. I am making preparations for the mounted expedition toward Abingdon. General Burnside in his dispatch that I received last night said I should place my infantry in striking distance of Cumberland Gap and send the cavalry down to harass the enemy's left and rear. The impassable state of Clinch River has hitherto prevented any occasion in that direction. It is now falling and will be fordable to-morrow, unless there should be another rain. The stage of water at Clinch River, in the direction of Abingdon would have great influence in determining the success of the move on Abingdon while my cavalry preparations are continuing.