HEADQUARTERS FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Bridgeport, Ala., December 21, 1863.
Major General U. S. GRANT,
Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:
Colonel Alexander, of Third Division, with five regiments of infantry and two companies of cavalry, started at daylight this morning without camp equipage, &c., to Huntsville, with instructions to get through as soon as possible.
JOHN A. LOGAN,
HEADQUARTERS SECOND CAVALRY DIVISION,
December 21, 1863-6 p.m.
Colonel HORACE CAPRON,
Commanding Second Cavalry Brigade, Page's Mill:
COLONEL: Your dispatch received. Report of scouts quite satisfactory. General Parke is anxious that you should be able to get a view from the heights of Clinch Mountain, in the vicinity of Powder Spring Gap, either above or below, and ascertain, if possible, the situation of the enemy's camp in the direction of Rutledge. It is reported that the main part of Longstreet's army is between Bean's Station and Rutledge, but the general has no certain intelligence of it. If at night you could have some officer of good judgment get a sight of their camp-fires, or a good view of their location with a glass at day, it would be highly acceptable to the general. He is anxious to know the position of the enemy's infantry and its estimated strength.
The general will expect your brigade to keep Flat Creek and Bull Run Valleys clear of the enemy, and protect the communications between Tazewell and Maynardville, watching the country as far as Clinch River. General Willcox, who is at Tazewell, has been ordered to place a force of infantry at Walker's Ford, on Clinch River. It would be well for you to keep in communication with that force.
You should watch Powder Spring Gap closely; if it is not too strongly held you might be able to get possession of it.
The enemy will be likely to attempt to send scouting parties out during the night.
JOHN W. FOSTER,
Colonel, Commanding Second Division.
You will see that you have taken such a position for your camp that the enemy cannot get in your rear and cut you off from the infantry.
HDQRS. TWENTY-THIRD ARMY CORPS,
Near Blain's Cross-Roads, December 21, 1863.
In compliance with orders from department headquarters, the brigadier-general commanding hereby relinquishes and turns over to Brigadier General J. D. Cox, U. S. Volunteers, command of the Twenty-third Army Corps.
On taking leave of the officers and soldiers of this corps, the general returns to them his sincere and heartfelt thanks for the prompt and faithful manner in which they have discharged their every duty, and the cheerfulness and alacrity with which all orders have