KNOXVILLE, December 9, 1863-10.50 a.m.
The line is already operating to Strawberry Plains, and you can communicate with me be messenger to that point. Let me know as soon as you find yourself in communication with General Foster, and report to me to-night your whereabouts, together with the condition of affairs. I hope to be well enough to leave here in the cars to-morrow morning and overtake you to-morrow night. Am glad you have moved forward, but you know a stern chase is a long one, and I would not move my command so rapidly as to get in advance of your supplies or break down your men. It is not likely you can overtake them unless they have made arrangements to concentrate above and give you battle, in which [event] you should be well prepared and concentrated. However, I leave the whole matter in your hands knowing you will do your best. Stores can be sent up on the railroad to the points you indicate. Let me hear from you frequently.
A. E. BURNSIDE,
KNOXVILLE, December 9, 1863-3 p.m.
Move with great caution and do not get too far up. Dispatch from General Foster just received, stating that his infantry will not leave Tazewell till to-morrow morning. He reports main body of Longstreet's infantry at or near Bean's Station. Communicate with me frequently.
A. E. BURNSIDE.
December 9, 1863-5.30 p.m.
On Road to Rutledge:
From dispatches received from General Foster I am satisfied he has misunderstood our dispatches and is on the eve of starting with General Willcox's command for this place. I have sent Fearing out to stop him, and to send the forces back to Tazewell with a view to moving to Bean's Station in order to co-operate with you. I started Spear's brigade for Strawberry Plains to be stationed there, and Mott's brigade will have to join General White's division to-morrow morning. It would be well to be very cautious in your advance. I hope to leave here to-morrow morning to join you.
A. E. BURNSIDE,
December 9, 1863-3 p.m.
I have ordered General Ewing to move to Athens; also you can send for General Jeff. Davis if you think there is any chance of any part of Bragg's army coming toward us. I wish he would, as Grant