KNOXVILLE, December 7, 1863.
Tazewell (or this side):
I have been in considerable doubt as to your position and movements. A courier from Colonel Foster arrived last evening and stated you were at Tazewell. Fearing you might get involved with the main force of the enemy, I started this morning a column of 8,000 or 9,000 infantry, who will move to within supporting distance of Shackelford to-day.
Sherman's forces with the exception of Granger's corps, have started back to rejoin Grant. Granger's troops were unable to move, and the garrison here was not in a fit condition to do so, but I deemed it advisable to make a demonstration with infantry to assist you, if necessary, and to cover Sherman's backward movement. Longstreet, knowing of Sherman's arrival, will naturally think our pursuing column a heavy one. I would like you to come here as soon as may be. I shall leave here to-morrow morning. If you reach here after I leave, you had better take the cars and come up to Strawberry Plains.
Elliott, who moved from Sparta with a division of cavalry on the 29th, has not yet arrived.
A. E. BURNSIDE,
HEADQUARTERS PICKET STATION,
Needham's, December 7, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that a courier has this moment arrived from Knoxville with an unwritten communication from General Burnside. The courier being too much exhausted to proceed, I take down the instructions and forward.
First, General Burnside wishes communication opened; second, General Sheram will arrive in Knoxville December 6, the advance guard has already arrived; third, the army of Longstreet is not defeated, but simply falling back from Knoxville to avoid Sherman. In addition to above, I add that in obedience to orders from Colonel J. W. Foster I yesterday sent a small party in the direction of Clinton to communicate with General Granger if possible.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major Second Ohio Cavalry, Comdg. Picket Station.
HDQRS. DEPT. AND ARMY OF THE Tennessee,
Maryville, Tennessee, December 7, 1863.
I. Major General John A. Logan having reported for duty as commander of the Fifteenth Army corps, will assume command thereof and enter upon his duties.
II. Major General F. P. Blair, now commanding the corps, will, with his assistant adjutant-general and personal staff, proceed to Chattanooga and turn over to General Logan the records of the corps,
23 R R-VOL XXXI, PT III