brigade, Wood's division. Perhaps it will be best to send this brigade. For the work on the field-works you can send a strong brigade from the Twenty-third Corps, or if upon consultation it be judged better, you can send the whole of the Twenty-third Corps, as this will now, in all probability, be our line of operations. One division of some corps will have to be kept to watch Flat Creek. The two brigades are wanted here as soon as possible. Sturgis has sent in 16 prisoners, who are now being questioned. Will send you the news this eve. Suggest to Colonel Foster that the dismounted men would do good work on fortification.
J. G. FOSTER.
December 24, 1863-2.30 p.m.
The prisoners report nothing very new. They say that Ransom crossed at Dyer's Ford night before last to the north side of the Holston, going in the direction of Bean's Station; that General Longstreet's headquarters were at Bean's Station on Sunday; that two of his divisions were en route to Morristown; that the cavalry was all about in various directions, some at Morristown, at the mouth of Chucky, toward Dandridge, &c.; that Longstreet intended to fortify somewhere, as at Bull's Gap or Morristown. Could get nothing about the railroad above. Nothing about re-enforcements. Try and send down some shovels and twenty axes. Colonel Babcock will tell you the necessity. I am going to Knoxville.
J. G. FOSTER,
TAZEWELL, December 24, 1863-10 a.m.
Your order to move from Walker's Ford to Maynardville was not received till last night. The troops are on their way back to Walker's Ford. I will communicate with you from there.
O. B. WILLCOX,
NEAR WALKER'S FORD,
December 24, 1863-6 p.m.
GENERAL: The troops have crossed Walker's Ford and have encamped 2 miles this side. I have sent a courier to General Parke. Will move up in the morning to within 2 miles of Maynardville, where the road from Blain's Cross-Roads to Rutledge comes in, and take advantage of the halt to bring up stores and ammunition left in consequence by the wagons being out for forage. There are four regiments and two batteries, but if you need the troops they can march farther.
I am, general, very respectfully,
O. B. WILLCOX,