War of the Rebellion: Serial 056 Page 0468 KY., SW. VA., Tennessee, MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA.

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[CHAP. XLII.

TAZEWELL, December 22, 1863-3 p.m.

Major General JOHN G. PARKE,

Blain's Cross-Roads:

GENERAL: I arrived here about noon from Walker's Ford. All the information from Mulberry Gap and from deserters from the rebel army unites in the report that a rebel cavalry force has passed up the Clinch, but where it crossed or even whether it has crossed at all is unknown. So far they have not pressed in toward our trains. It may be that they have only crossed at the points heretofore reported for forage. Colonel Love has just arrived with a small cavalry force, which, I think, will be sufficient to guard the roads leading in between Clinch and Powell's Rivers from above. There is a battalion between Cumberland Gap and Jonesville, which reports the enemy moving down that road in some force, but I do not think it can be a large force, but a scouting party looking after the battalion which I sent from the gap toward Stickleyville last week, and which whipped the enemy in that quarter. I am much obliged to you, my dear general, for the information contained in your dispatch of yesterday morning, just received, and would thank you to forward this to General Foster, and if not too much trouble, a copy to General Sturgis.

Yours, very respectfully,

O. B. WILLCOX,

Brigadier-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,

Knoxville, Tennessee, December 22, 1863.

Brigadier-General WILLCOX,

Commanding near Walker's Ford:

GENERAL: I telegraphed you on the 20th instant, stating that General Cox had arrived and, being senior brigadier-general, had been assigned, at his own request, to the command of the Twenty-third corps. I also stated that the expected movement of our army had been delayed, and that the commanding general wished you to concentrate your forces at Tazewell. The commanding general now directs that you take up such a position near Maynardville as will cover the road to Wheeler's Gap, and still avoid the possibility of being cut off by a large force coming from the direction of Powder Spring Gap.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

EDWARD BLAIN'S CROSS-ROADS,

December 22, 1863-midnight.

Colonel CAPRON,

Commanding Cavalry Brigade:

I wish you to move a strong scout up to Powder Spring Gap to-morrow morning, 23d, starting at 8 o'clock. An infantry force will move up this valley, and I have no doubt you will be able to drive the rebels out without difficulty.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNumbers G. PARKE,

Major-General.