HEADQUARTERS FORCES IN THE FIELD,
Blain's Cross-Roads, December 23, 1863.
Commanding Cavalry Division:
COLONEL: It appears from the reconnaissance of to-day that the enemy's cavalry have retired from Powder Spring Gap, and also from Massengale's Mill, on Buffalo Creek. Those at the latter place have crossed the Holston, and it is important to know what has become of the balance, and also of the infantry. This is also reported as having crossed the river in the direction of Morristown. I wish you to move up Colonel Capron's brigade on the Rutledge road, extending reconnaissance to Bean's Station, and beyond, and also over to the river road and fords of the Holston, above the mouth of Buffalo Creek. All small parties of the enemy will be driven off, but it is not intended to bring on a serious fight; the main object is to ascertain the movement and, if possible, the position of the enemy. All the way up communication will be opened with General Spears at Massengale's Mill, and he must be notified of the presence or approach of the enemy, as well as their headquarters. Report all important information as soon as possible to these headquarters.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN G. PARKE,
Louisville, Ky., December 23, 1863.
Captain W. P. ANDERSON,
Major-General Grant has ordered me to send Third and Thirteenth Kentucky Cavalry to Nashville. This leaves small force to protect the border, and the Forty-eighth Kentucky have only 200 old arms.
Have made requisitions repeatedly, and do not get the arms.
Major-General Foster orders me to send all troops I can spare, without delay, to Knoxville. I have ordered Ninety-first Indiana and Hawes' battery, Seventh Rhode Island, and Fiftieth Ohio, and two regiments of East Tennessee.
Will your order arms to be supplied to the Tennessee regiments at Camp Nelson?
J. T. BOYLE,
KNOXVILLE, December 23, 1863-9 a.m.
You must obtain drivers for the teams. If quartermasters fail to obtain them by offering high prices, you must impress negroes or detail soldiers.
J. G. FOSTER,