War of the Rebellion: Serial 056 Page 0415 Chapter XLIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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to press able-bodied negroes, horses, and mules, leaving one team to each family, the horses and mules to be turned over to Colonel Miller, the negroes to be put in my regiment now forming at this place, and upon arriving here to-day after a five days' hard scout, Colonel Mizner, commanding the post, without, any knowledge or consent of me, released 13 negroes and sent them back to their owners.

I ask, for information, what is to be done in this case?

THOS. J. DOWNEY,

Colonel Fifteenth U. S. Colored Troops.

WASHINGTON, December 15, 1863-1.20 p.m.

Major-General FOSTER,

Knoxville, Tennessee:

The great object to be kept in view is to expel Longstreet from East Tennessee and keep him out.

In all minor matters you will receive instructions from General Grant.

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

CHATTANOOGA, December 15, 1863.

Major General J. G. FOSTER,

Knoxville, Tennessee:

As soon as you deem your position secure order the Fourth Corps to return to Chattanooga. They will return by the easiest and most practicable route, taking as much time for the march as the condition of the roads, men, and animals may make necessary.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

CHATTANOOGA, December 15, 1863.

Major-General FOSTER:

Your dispatch of the 14th received and propositions approved. Do all you can to harass the enemy. Drive him as far to the east as possible.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

KNOXVILLE, December 15, 1863-4 p.m.

Major-General GRANT:

It is evident that I cannot perfect my arrangements for supplies by trains in time to meet the wants of this army for the next month. I have therefore to ask that you will order supplies of breadstuffs