Crook or Wilson would be the best men I know of to command such an expedition.
All the cavalry of the Cumberland Army with you, not taken for the expedition referred to above, bring back to Chattanooga with you. I do not want them to go back where they started from. I do not insist upon this expedition, but if you deem it at all practicable start it. I leave this matter to you, because you are where the troops start from, and can learn more of the practicability and the roads than I know. You see the condition of men and horses, and also know better what the enemy are doing in that direction either to defeat such a move or to make our cavalry necessary elsewhere.
U. S. GRANT,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Chattanooga, December 1, 1863-5.30 p.m.
Maj. General G. GRANGER,
Commanding Fourth Army Corps:
Your of 5 p.m. yesterday received. General Sherman is on your right and has orders on uniting his forces with yours to assume the direction of affairs. Elliott is ordered to Kingston. Left on 25th. Colonel Palmer is also ordered with his regiment and Tenth Ohio Cavalry direct to Kingston; leaves to-day. Steamer Dunbar loading with 150,000 rations hard bread and salt, and about half that quantity of coffee, sugar, and bacon; will start to-night or in the morning. We will endeavor to send you more supplies by river. Enemy's main body reported south of Dalton.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. J. REYNOLDS,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.
(Copy to Sherman from Granger, December 3rd.)
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,
Athens, Tennessee, December 1, 1863.
Maj. General GORDON GRANGER,
Commanding Fourth Corps:
GENERAL: The general commanding announces that we have arrived here this evening and find many floating rumors relating to Knoxville, one of which is that Burnside has surrendered. This is not credited. The other, that Bragg sent orders through to Longstreet that he must attack Knoxville at once, and in case of failure he must get away the best way he could; that he did attack on Sunday last, was repulsed, and is now retreating toward North Carolina by Tellico Plains; this latter is more in conformity with what we observe, viz, the guard of one regiment and squad of cavalry attempted to destroy the bridge across the Hiwassee at our approach, and are now traveling with extraordinary speed toward Loudon. The secessionists of this town have all fled and the Union people remain and are exuberant.
We will march direct on Loudon in the morning (December 2),