effort made to drive Longstreet from the valley. It is not practicable to send Granger's other division to you now. If you require more force can it not be taken from your command in Kentucky?
U. S. GRANT,
KNOXVILLE, December 20, 1863-3.30 p.m.
The cavalry are crossing the river at Strawberry Plains in boats. The general commanding does not think it would be well to make the change you propose in the disposition of the cavalry. The enemy are collecting forage and running the mills on the south, side of the Holston, and it is necessary to put a stop to these operations.
EDWARD E. POTTER,
Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND CAVALRY DIVISION,
Sawyer's House, December 20, 1863.
Major General J. G. PARKE,
Commanding Army in Field:
GENERAL: A band of rebel soldiers, about 60 men, came, as is supposed, from Powder Spring Gap last night, passed down Flat Creek Valley, crossed the road to Maynardville, and went down as far as Graveston, within 12 miles of Knoxville, and returned before day-light this morning. It was reported this morning that they had captured one of my courier-posts, but this is not true. I have heard of no damage done by the raid, although the mail from Cumberland Gap to Knoxville barely escaped. I have sent another scout over the road to-day. I called at your headquarters to-day in your absence to suggest the propriety of the better securing the communication both from Blain's Cross-Roads and Knoxville to Tazewell, by moving the Second Brigade of my division, now encamped near here, to the point where the road coming out of Flat Creek Valley crosses the road from Blain's Cross-Roads to Tazewell and Maynardville. The brigade at that point would be about 5 miles from the cross-roads, and 4 miles from infantry support, but it would be in much better position to watch the valleys on the north side of Clinch Mountain, and prevent, such raids as that of last night. If your approve the movement I will order it to be made in the morning.
JOHN W. FOSTER,
Colonel, Commanding Second Cavalry Division.
NASHVILLE, December 20, 1863-2.15 p.m.
(Received 6.20 p.m.)
Dispatches just received from General Foster say that Longstreet will probably attempt to hold the east end of the valley.* Our troops
*See Part I, p. 285.