home guards for the protection of yourselves and neighborhood from the depredations and attacks of rebels, whether such rebels ar mustered into the service of the rebel Government as soldiers or guerrillas and bushwhackers. To accomplish this purpose you are authorized to seize the horses and arms of rebels and compel them to subsist your party while on duty, if necessary. You will keep an account of property taken from rebels, stating when and from whom taken, subject at all times to the inspection of the major-general commanding. All horses seized not necessary to mount your party will be brought in to this place and turned into the quartermaster's department.
WM. D. WHIPPLE,
Brigadier-General and Assistant Adjutant-General.
KNOXVILLE, December 27, 1863.
General U. S. GRANT:
Great majority of the old regiments have decided to re-enlist as veteran volunteers provided they can be assured that they will get their furloughs soon. I have assured them that as soon as the present emergency is passed one-third of their regiments enlisting as veterans shall go home, at the end of thirty days another third, and the remainder as soon as the first third returns to duty.
General Sturgis has been, and is almost constantly, engaged with the enemy's cavalry in front. He has attained and maintained the morale over them. I have as yet no report of the result of to-day's fight.
J. G. FOSTER,
KNOXVILLE, December 27, 1863-8 p. m.
I have ordered the pontoon bridge to be sent from Kingston, but I am sure that the railroad bridge can be completed before it arrives. In high water the pontoon bridge will not stand. It is better to hurry the railroad bridge to completion and plank over the ties so as to cross all arms.
J. G. FOSTER,
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS,
New Market, Tennessee, December 27, 1863-11.15 a. m.
Brigadier General W. L. ELLIOTT:
GENERAL: I have reliable information that there are but two brigades of cavalry in front of you; that the rebels have the remainder of their cavalry force on the Bend of Chucky road to Mansfield's Gap. They have a small infantry force intrenched at Morristown, the main bulk of their army being at Russellville and Bend of Chucky.