War of the Rebellion: Serial 056 Page 0504 Chapter XLIII. KY.,SW.VA.,Tennessee,MISS.,N.ALA.,AND N.GA.

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this will be a greatly advantage to us. Please inform General Sturgis. Longstreet will feel a little timid now, and will bear a little pushing.

J. G. FOSTER,

Major-General, Commanding.

STRAWBERRY PLAINS,

December 26, 1863-10.45 a. m.

Major-General PARKE,

Commanding,&c.:

GENERAL: In view of the reported concentration of the enemy at Morristown, the commanding general directs that you move a force of 5,000 men to this point, where you will make your headquarters. Sufficient detachments will be detailed to guard the fords below here as far down as Armstrong's Ford. the present force at Flat Creek bridge will remain to hold that position. The mills on the river road will be kept running, and infantry guards will be placed at each mill, with cavalry scouts to give them timely warning of the enemy's approach.

Very respectfully,

EDWARD E. POTTER,

Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS,

New Market, December 26, 1863-7 a. m.

General FOSTER:

I had given orders for an attack this morning at Mossy Creek, but fearing this rain might place us in a bad situation (on account of the rise it will cause in the river) in case of a reverse, I have sent orders to stop a general engagement, if not too late, until further consideration and until, if possible, I can hear from you. The force we should encounter is altogether problematical, and it appears to me necessary to be very cautious.

Yours,

S. D. STURGIS,

Brigadier-General.

HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS,

Near Mossy Creek, December 26, 1863-11 a. m.

General FOSTER or General PARKE,

Blain's Cross-Roads, via Nance's Ferry:

GENERAL: I have just returned from our lines beyond Mossy Creek. Our skirmishers are slightly engaged, but nothing more.

Captain Thornhill, of one of the Tennessee regiments, has just returned from his home, 5 miles from Morristown. He reports that Longstreet's infantry has all crossed to this side the Holston, and that there is a large infantry force at Morristown. He saw on day before yesterday 10,000 cavalry pass down toward Dandridge, which he thinks went there to cover the passage of Longstreet's force by