War of the Rebellion: Serial 056 Page 0454 KY., SW. VA., Tennessee, MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA.

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require many articles of clothing, ordnance stores, &c., which I must get through by way of Chattanooga. Guerrillas are growing troublesome on the Tennessee. I can attend to all these matters better from here than from Chattanooga, and will remain unless I go in person to Knoxville. I will send Sherman down the Mississippi. I will write you the plans at present determined upon.



CHATTANOOGA, December 20, 1863.

Major-General GRANT:

A. Weston, representing himself as employed by N. P. Banks for State Department, is here in close keeping; says since 19th September has traveled all over Southern Confederacy, and is now direct from Richmond, Atlanta, and Rome; estimates rebel loss in recent battles 18,000 or 20,000 including deserters and wounded. Longstreet had when he went to Knoxville from 12,000 to 14,000 infantry, 3,000 to 4,000 cavalry. Whole cavalry force for Bragg's army does not exceed 9,000. Bragg's entire strength to-day 70,000-a large estimate. Entire rebel strength, including every man and home guard east of Mississippi. Joe Johnston has not arrived yet. Rebels, he says, posted from Tunnel Hill to Dalton, Ga. Home guards and Georgia troops guarding bridges from there to Atlanta. Thinks Bragg's troops are disaffected and one-third of them would not fight. People of Northern Georgia loyal, and throughout the South begin to hear them say, we have no appearance of peace twelve months, even if the Confederacy should succeed. This man proposes to open a daily line of scouts to Bragg through Ducktown and Murray County or to burn Hightower bridge.

Foster telegraphed this morning for axes, shovels, and various tools. Sent request to Thomas. If he cannot supply them, will get Quartermaster-General to order them at once. C. A. Dana arrived in Washington, but has been no one yet.

Halleck telegraphs:

WASHINGTON, December 17, 1863.

General GRANT:

Your letter of the 7th just received and will on first opportunity be brought to attention of the Secretary of War. The first object to be accomplished now is the expulsion of the enemy from East Tennessee and the repair and security of the lines of supply for our troops there. Next, to secure the points of access to the enemy to East and Middle Tennessee. I agree with you that all troops not required for these purposes and for cleaning out West Tennessee and the Mississippi, can operate with greater advantage during the winter in the south. From present appearances General Banks will need all the assistance you can give him just now on the Lower Mississippi and in Louisiana, as I telegraphed a few days ago. I will answer your letter more fully as soon as I learn the wishes of the War Department and the President.


President United States telegraphs the following:


December 19, 1863.

General GRANT:

The Indiana delegation in Congress, or at least a large part of them, are very anxious that General Milroy shall enter active service again, and I share in his