about 1 1/2 miles back from the river. Marsh reports that Strong and Anderson, of General Foster's staff, were in Knoxville yesterday. The other brigade he met on the road with Mott's was composed of Tennessee troops, and I suppose was Spears', and Marsh says between 300 and 400 prisoners came into Knoxville yesterday, picked up in squads on the French Broad.
ROBERT B. POTTER,
December 10, 1863-10 a.m
I have just arrived at this point on the north side of the river. My advance is in sight. As directed at department headquarters, I report my arrival to you by courier.
My teams are well nigh exhausted, and I have much difficulty in getting along. I await further orders. I am here without covering for my troops, such as tents, &c. and transportation.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. SPEARS.
N. B. - My command consists of three small regiments and one battery. Would like to have a regiment of cavalry to scout this country, as there are small rebel parties scouting the country.
J. G. SPEARS,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
On the Road from Tellico to Athens, December 10, 1863-6 a.m.
General JEFF. C. DAVIS,
At or near Columbus:
DEAR GENERAL: Yesterday morning a courier overtook me before reaching Tellico with a dispatch from General Howard, in which he gave a report of citizens, generally credited and which he deemed worthy of my notice, that Bragg was moving up a heavy column this way, and that it was already at Charleston. On this report I detached Ewing's division to him at Athens, and authorized him to call for you.
Last night I got a message from him at Athens reporting all right. One of his brigades in possession of the Charleston bridge and you at Columbus. This is as it should be, but he said he regarded my order to call for you as peremptory, and had sent it to you. I gave this order dependent on his knowledge of the truth of the report he had sent me, but I now countermand the whole order, and hope you are still at Columbus, and control the Hiwassee there. If you have marched you may go to Eastinaula and pick out any place you please between Athens and Charleston, only reporting to me at Athens your whereabouts. I have sent Long over the mountains into Georgia, and we must stay in this neighborhood till he comes back. I expect