their losses by the rebels in their recent demonstration against this place. I do not consider it advisable to do so at present.
It will be establishing a precedent, and there are hundreds of loyal men who have suffered in the same manner who will urge their claims for compensation. These gentlemen can have recourse to the Government, which will undoubtedly adopt some just and uniform plan to compensate all loyal men for their losses sustained by the war.
I would not hesitate, however, to levy a tax upon wealthy rebels to relieve the wants and pressing necessities of Union refugees who are driven from their homes to seek an asylum within our lines, and if the gentleman referred to have lost everything, and are reduced to the necessity of seeking assistance from the Federal authorities, you can levy a tax for their benefit, but I do not understand such to be their condition. Mrs. Marshall writes me that she has some cotton which she is anxious to get to market. You can assist her to do so, if it can be done without prejudice to the military service.
You can say to Mr. Nutt that I am expecting a quartermaster shortly with funds to purchase forage, and that we will pay him for what corn we take of his. In relation to opening a store, he will have to file his application, with the Treasury agent, J. Adair McDowell, at this place, and obtain a permit, and I will approve it.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. B. McPHERSON,
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, December 24, 1863.
(Received 6.20 p.m.)
Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
I will go to Knoxville in person immediately. If Longstreet is not driven from Tennessee soil, it shall not be my fault.
U. S. GRANT,
December 24, 1863.
The enemy is still in force; no engagement yet. A movement is in progress which will bring on a partial one soon. I will telegraph more fully to-day in cipher.*
J. G. FOSTER,
December 24, 1863-12 m.
It will be necessary to send two brigades to this place to work on the bridge, and throw up the works to defend it and the ford. Colonel Chandler, who is now here and doing well, belongs to Willich's
*See Part I, p. 285.