War of the Rebellion: Serial 056 Page 0393 Chapter XLIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.- UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

While we are enduring these privations of food, clothing, and shelter, one-half or two-thirds of this city is occupied by the worst kind of rebels, who are only constrained by circumstances from acting as our bitterest foes. While our soldiers are enduring the furious pelting of the pitiless storm, these vipers to the Government we are trying at such cost of life and suffering to maintain are living in a state of affluence and plenty. I therefore suggest, as a fitting notice of their pseudo treason, and at the same time in some degree ameliorate the condition of our men, that these people be as closely packed together as possible, and that their houses, so vacated, be turned over to the officers and men of this command. I further suggest that the tents now in the city that are vacated or in part occupied be also turned over for the same purpose.

We are so remote from our base of supplies that many days must elapse are any shelter or supplies can be expected; hence the immediate necessity of some measures being taken, for their relief.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.


Knoxville, Tennessee, December 12, 1863.

Maj. General U. S. GRANT,

Commanding Division of the Mississippi:

GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose to you the within copy of a dispatch submitted to Major-General Burnside,and to solicit your immediate attention to the statement of facts which it embodies.*

I cannot too strongly urge the necessity of a prompt withdrawal of the troops under my command from this place to Chattanooga.

Besides the loss of transportation, artillery, and other public property, which must attend a march through these mountains after the winter rains have set in, simple justice to the men requires that they should be sent back to where they can obtain the greatly-needed supplies of clothing, subsistence, and shelter.

As for Longstreet, there is no doubt in my mind that he is making his way to Virginia as rapidly as possible, and even if he were not, it is impossible to pursue him and subsist the troops upon his track.

The steam-boats with our rations are unable to get up farther than Gillespie's Landing, 20 miles below Kingston.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.


December 12, 1863.

Captain POE,

Chief Engineer, Department of the Ohio:

SIR: You will give such orders as will insure the speedy completion of all works at prominent points for defense about Knoxville. The works will be inclosed and made so as to render the place defensi-


*See, of December 8, p. 358