and small stores to be sent by the river, and that orders be given to get steamers over the shoals in the Tennessee River to be used for that purpose. The information from above is such a nature, though conflicting that I am now pushing the Fourth Corps to Blain's Cross-Roads, to meet any demonstration or advance from Longstreet and to cover and protect our trains coming from Cumberland Gap.
Should it appear that Longstreet has been re-enforced from Virginia, we will take up the most advantageous position and accept battle.
In case he is retreating or attempting to cover his movement into Carolina, we shall endeavor to punish him to the extent of our ability.
J. G. FOSTER,
HEADQUARTERS ELEVENTH CORPS,
Cleveland, Tennessee, December 15, 1863.
Commanding Department of the Tennessee:
GENERAL: My scouts were sent yesterday in all directions. They found a part of General Davis' troops still at Benton. Connesauga River and Red Clay have also been reconnoitered. Patrols of the enemy come as far as Red Hill. The country south of Connesauga River is infested by small parties driving off the stock and hunting conscripts.
Wheeler headquarters are at Varnell's Station Hardee's at Tilton. Ten thousand men are reported near Dalton. Troops are moved to Rome. They (rebels) fear a movement by Grant into Sugar Valley. Negroes are driven south to fortify Atlanta, Resaca, and Rome.
O. O. HOWARD,
HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, SECOND DIVISION CAVALRY,
Near Calhoun, Tennessee, December 15, 1863.
Division of the Mississippi, Chattanooga:
SIR: I have to report arrival with my command at Calhoun this p.m., receiving upon arrival orders from Major-General Sherman to take post on the Hiwassee River, guarding the river and the railroad bridge which connects Calhoun with Charleston.
The Fifth Ohio Cavalry is attached temporarily to my brigade, and Captain Howland's battalion, Third U. S. Cavalry, detached from it.
My orders require that I shall open by courier communication with Major-General Grant at Chattanooga and with Brigadier-General Elliott, commanding First Cavalry Division, at Kingston or Loudon.