CHATTANOOGA, December 10, 1863.
Major General A. E. BURNSIDE,
I telegraphed General Halleck twice whilst you were besieged, asking to have General Kelley sent through to cut the railroad east of Abingdon. He replied that he had not force enough, but that Meade had been ordered to cut the road at Lynchburg, but failed. Keep Granger with you until your forces return. If you can get orders to Elliott direct him to take the line of the Hiwassee when he is through with anything you may find for him to do, and to report his arrival there. Will it not be necessary to keep a heavier force near the eastern end of the valley than you have had heretofore? When the river rises and we get the banks more securely, I will try to send you a boat-load of supplies weekly.
U. S. GRANT,
TAZEWELL, December 10, 1863.
Major General JOHN G. PARKE,
GENERAL: General Foster directs me to communicate with you, and if you advance beyond Bean's Station to join you with my infantry force; also to supply you with rations to the extent of my ability. I have sent forward 10,000 rations to General Shackelford to-day,and another train is expected to-morrow. It might be well to make a temporary depot at Bean's Station. If you have a telegraph operator we can communicate by telegraph. The line is perfect to Evan's Ford, and I have sent wire to-day to repair it to Bean's Station.
O. B. WILLCOX,
HEADQUARTERS NINTH ARMY CORPS,
Rutledge, December 10, 1863-6.15 p.m.
GENERAL: The story as to the rebels at the mill was considerably exaggerated. My men have been grinding there all day, are still there, and have orders to continue grinding till morning. Only some 40 or 50 of the enemy showed themselves. Lieutenant Fletcher only had half a dozen orderlies, and a party of the enemy crossed to try and get them. As soon as the company of infantry came up he drove them off, only 2 or 3 getting across the river; the rest took up for the Morristown road, except 3 or 4 who were run into the woods. A small party has since shown across the river, but made no attempt to disturb the party at the mill. As I found Ferrero's regiment had started, I thought it as well to cut through, as there might possibly be some attempt on the mill party. If the enemy had any spare force across the river, their remaining so long thereabouts is explained by the fact that they are running a still
24 R R-VOL XXXI, PT III