War of the Rebellion: Serial 056 Page 0316 KY.,SW. VA.,Tennessee,MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter XLIII.

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courier through to Clinton to tell General Granger that I have no doubt that Longstreet will retreat by the road leading through Rutledge or Rogersville; that if General Granger will advance to Blain's Cross-Roads, he will strike Longstreet's flank, or failing in that, we can catch Wheeler's cavalry between us.



(Same to General Grant.)

TAZEWELL, Tennessee, December 3, 1863.


Major-General Grant telegraphs that General Sherman will reach Knoxville to-morrow or the day after. This will compel the immediate retreat of Longstreet up the Holston Valley toward Virginia, via Rutledge and Bean's Station. I am held in check here by the whole cavalry force of Wheeler and Jones, a force more than equal to the whole command here. The best point for your to strike the retreating column with your cavalry is at Blain's Cross-Roads. So long as the cavalry force is in my front I can do nothing; if it withdraws, my cavalry will hang close upon the enemy and do all the damage it can. If you should fail to strike the column at Blain's Cross-Roads, if you move with rapidity, we may be able to get Wheeler's cavalry between us. He is this morning in front of Walker's Ford, on Clinch River, 11 miles from here.

Very respectfully yours, &c.


Major-General of Volunteers.

MORGANTON, Tennessee, December 3, 1863-12 m.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN,

Commanding Army of the Tennessee:

GENERAL: I have just forded the river at this place; found it deep, uneven, and rapid; in fact impracticable for anything except cavalry.

There is one boat here 25 feet long-needs repairs; and very little material for bridges. The stream is at least 200 yards wide We'll do the best we can; but with the materials at hand, can promise but very poor speed.

If you have saved any boats at Loudon, you had better try and cross at that place.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,




Fork Creek, 6 1/2 Miles from Philadelphia, December 3, 1863- 6 p. m.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN,


GENERAL: I will move my troops to Loudon in the morning to meet the Paint Rock and obtain rations, as the command is entirely out, and also to obtain an additional supply of ammunition, as we