War of the Rebellion: Serial 056 Page 0482 KY., SW. VA., Tennessee, MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA.

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[CHAP. XLIII.

the earliest practicable moment. The enemy, when last heard from on yesterday (2 o'clock p.m.), had not succeeded in crossing the river, but a portion remain on this side, about 6 miles above here. This I learn from a citizen who passed them.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES G. SPEARS,

Brigadier-General, Commanding, &c.

HEADQUARTERS FORCES IN THE FIELD,

Blain's Cross-Roads, December 24, 1863.

Major General G. GRANGER,

Commanding Fourth Corps:

GENERAL: The major-general commanding is very desirous that the railway bridge at Strawberry Plains be pushed to a speedy completion. Colonel Chandler, of Willich's brigade, Wood's division, is now engaged upon this work and is doing well, but needs more assistance, and the general commanding suggests that this brigade be moved to that point for this purpose. Will you, therefore, please direct that this brigade be moved to-morrow morning to Strawberry Plains with instructions that such details and assistance will be furnished as will complete the work? The commanding general also directs that the working parties be furnished with a least twenty axes.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNumbers G. PARKE,

Major-General, Commanding.

[Indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS FOURTH ARMY CORPS,

December 24, 1863.

General Wood will comply with these instructions and give the necessary orders for carrying them into effect.

G. GRANGER,

Major-General, Commanding.

Please return this communication.

G. G.

HEADQUARTERS FORCES IN THE FIELD,

Blain's Cross-Roads, December 24, 1863.

(Received 6 p.m.)

Brigadier General J. D. COX,

Commanding Twenty-third Corps:

GENERAL: By direction of the major-general commanding the department you will please direct a strong brigade to move to-morrow to Strawberry Plains for the purpose of constructing earth-works for the defense of the railway bridge and the ford in that vicinity. The works for covering the bridge will be located on the other side of the river and the sites marked by Lieutenant-Colonel Babcock, assistant inspector-general of the Ninth Corps, who will give the nec-