CHATTANOOGA, December 6, 1863-4.30 p.m.
(Received 2.10 a.m,, 7th.)
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Dispatch just received from General Foster indicates beyond a doubt that Longstreet is retreating toward Virginia. I have directed him to be well followed up.
U. S. GRANT,
CHATTANOOGA, December 6, 1863-4.15 p.m.
Major General J. G. FOSTER,
Instruct your cavalry to follow Longstreet to the last minute. It is not necessary that they should attack the main force, but follow up the rear, hasten the retreat, pick up stragglers, and destroy the road as far east as possible. If your troops can get as far as Saltville and destroy the works there, it will be an immense loss to the enemy.
U. S. GRANT,
OFFICE OF U. S. STEAMER PAINT ROCK,
Off Chattanooga, Tennessee,, December 6, 1863.
Major General J. J. REYNOLDS,
Chief of Staff, Department of the Cumberland:
GENERAL: In accordance with your orders I proceeded with the Fourth Army Corps, under Major-General Granger's directions, up the river. I was during the first two days occupied in ferrying troops across the Hiwassee River at Kincannon's Ferry. From that point my orders were from General Granger to proceed to Kingston, Tennessee The low stage of water at White's Creek Shoals, about 20 miles below Kingston, Tennessee, obstructed my intentions, and after a struggle of thirty-six hours' constant labor I abandoned all hopes,it being impossible to get across. General Granger's chief commissary of subsistence, who was aboard, ordered subsistence and ordnance stores unloaded, which was properly executed and the articles put under sufficient shelter. I addressed a communication on the subject to Colonel Byrd, First East Tennessee Infantry, commanding post at Kingston, Tennessee to which the answer came to hand yesterday. Colonel Byrd approving of the discharge of my cargo, ordered me to proceed to Chattanooga, Tennessee, as soon as possible. I left White's Creek Shoals at 1 o'clock p.m. yesterday; was however detained by a heavy fog last night about 10 miles above this point.
Hoping, general, that my proceedings will meet with your entire approbation, I now am here awaiting your orders.
With due respect, yours,
J. C. McELROY,
Captain, Commanding Steamer.