DECEMBER 19, 1863.
Colonel J. G. PARKHURST:
The rebel General Hardee is strengthening his position and fortifying between Tunnel Hill and Dalton, and also at Resaca, near Oostenaula River, on the Western and Atlantic Railroad, and also at the river near the Allatoona Mountains. This last place is a very formidable position for the rebels, as the river is near where the railroad passes through the mountains. These mountains will be hard to pass through, as they are all cut up with sharp hills and deep ravines, and but few pass-ways through them, and these passway being a good piece apart on our left, from 10 to 20 miles apart, and not much better on the right. I am reliably informed that they intend to make a stand at this point, as they think they cannot be flanked in these mountains. The Georgia militia are now on Hardee's left at Dirt Town, this side of Rome. Wheeler's cavalry are at Judge Kinian's place, sometimes called Blue Springs. Their scouts came out as far as Ringgold, Ga., and up in Tennessee 10 or 12 miles of Harrison, and could at any time make a raid in on the river and cut off our forage trains and destroy our steam-boats passing the river, and if it be true, as reported, that the rebel General Morgan has got through our lines, we may look for this.
A. G. W. PUCKETT.
BLAIN'S CROSS-ROADS, December 19, 1863.
I forgot to include the want of axes and tools in my dispatch* of this morning. We are entirely destitute, and need them very much. Please send as soon as possible 1,000 axes, 1,000 shovels and spades 100 augers, different sizes; 20 cross-cut saws, 12 broad-axes, 100 kegs spikes and large nails, 6 coils large rope for bridges. These should come up in the boats to Loudon.
J. G. FOSTER,
OFFICE PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL OF EAST TENNESSEE,
Knoxville, December 19, 1863.
Brigadier General EDWARD E. POTTER,
Chief of Staff, Army of the Ohio:
GENERAL: I regret the necessity of calling the attention of the major-general commanding the department to the frequent complaints on the part of citizens of the lawless conduct of troops serving in this department. Horses, forage, provisions, and not infrequently household effects are taken by wholly unauthorized persons, leaving no receipt or voucher of any sort. Many of the citizens thus troubled are as loyal and patriotic as the soldiers of the United States Army, and, in some cases, they have been stripped of their all by men wearing the garb of Federal soldiers. I respectfully request the general commanding to issue stringent orders on the subject of procuring animals, forage, and other supplies, making a few examples of lawless stragglers, which will arrest this widely prevalent evil, and thus redeem our cause from the odium which
*See Part I, p. 284.