in order to keep the bridge occupied, as the Fifteenth Corps will have all passed during the night. Should General Howard, therefore, not have reached the bridge by daylight, you will please move your command over the river at that time, and halt your column on the road already assigned it on the other side.
By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
R. M. SAWYER,
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH ARMY CORPS,
Five Miles East of Morganton, December, 4, 1863-4 o'clock.
Brigadier General T. J. WOOD,
Commanding Third Division:
The major-general commanding directs that you use every effort to procure corn and wheat, and to grind all you possibly can. We have three small mills running, but cannot supply much. Johnson's mill, 2 miles south of this, where General Sheridan is grinding, has three run of stone, and can grind all the grain you can get there.
The bridge will be done to-night, and you will be prepared to move by daylight. Longstreet is yet at Knoxville. He assaulted Burnside on Sunday and was badly whipped. I send you a letter of a mail of many letters captured this morning by General Sherman. We were all over to the river to see General Sherman this morning. Longstreet is evidently badly puzzled.
Major Beaham, of the commanding general's staff, was sent to you this morning at 4 a.m,. with a dispatch; supposing you to be at Madisonville he was directed thither, and it is much feared he is captured.
Herewith I send you copy of Field Orders,* announcing order of battle and march.
Please return the letter I sent you from Knoxville.
Very respectfully,your obedient servant,
R. O. SELFRIDGE,
HEADQUARTERS ELEVENTH CORPS,
Loudon, December 4, 1863.
GENERAL: A few rebel pickets have been seen this morning on the opposite side of the river. I am fixing a flat-boat to cross over a small force.
Have dispatched scouts to communicate if possible with General Burnside. A courier seems to have got through from Burnside to Colonel Byrd at Kingston.
I have repaired about fifteen rebel wagons, and can make a foot bridge in a short time at Davis' Ford. I have also sent a party to measure the depth of the water, said to be in no place more than 3 feet, and is a good ford, distant 6 miles from this place. If I cross there it will save me 10 miles' march, and there will be no loss of time.
O. O. HOWARD,
*See p. 330.