other and the ground they were to occupy, or rather, an approximation thereto was chosen. Lieutenant-Colonel Babcock will make further examination and fix their exact locality. At the crossing of the Clinch River (Evans' Ford) I found a sufficient guard, under the command of Colonel Kise. The river was rising quite rapidly, but the guard had raised and repaired the ferry-boat, which was crossing successfully, being pulled back and forth by hand upon a cable stretched from one shore to another. I think that it would be well, as a matter of security, to have another boat built there, and will so notify Colonel Babcock. I found the road from Bean's Station to Tazewell much better than I expected, and I think that it will prove a passable winter road. When I arrived here this evening it was too dark to see, but I will go over the ground early in the morning. I find that considerable has been done here, and that fortunately there is an officer here with his regiment (Colonel Jackson, One hundred and eighteenth Indiana Volunteers) who is perfectly competent to do whatever may be required in the way of construction. A stockade is now being built at Mulberry Gap, and from the description given me by General Willcox it seems to be just what your instructions contemplated for occupancy by outposts. I will next examine the crossing of Powell's River, and then will go to Cumberland Gap.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
O. M. POE,
Captain, and Chief Engineer, Army of the Ohio.
TAZEWELL, December 14, 1863.
GENERAL: About the time of Poe's arrival the linen to Bean's Station ceased to work. It is poorly put up between Thorn Hill and the station. I have no news in addition to that sent General Foster yesterday through General Shackelford, except that about 400 cavalry are reported to have crossed the Clinch from War Gap, on the Sneedville road, and were committing depredations. This came from Mulberry Gap last night, since when I have received two dispatches from there with no additional intelligence.
O. B. WILLCOX,
DECEMBER, 14, 1863-8.30 p.m.
GENERAL: As Humbphrey had not got back I thought it best to stop him about 2 miles out, as there he covers two branch roads leading into Shackelford's rear. He sent word that there was a force above him on the river road. Would it not be well, as the Bean's Station road is uncovered, to send word to General Willcox? I heard that a good many wagons were between Bean's Station and the Clinch.
ROBERT B. POTTER,