numbers. By means of the railroad I hope, however, to re-enforce either point as necessity may require. Major-General Stevenson will give you the information you desire about the enemy's forces, positions, &c., letter than I can. When he last reported the main force was supposed near Concord Station, on railroad half way from Loudon to Knoxville, and the river on both flanks was heavily picketed. His supplies, beyond what he draws from the surrounding country by foraging, must come by wagon train from Kentucky or Middle Tennessee by way of Sparta and Kingston. The latter source can very soon be cut off by your cavalry. His rolling-stock on the Tennessee railroad consists of very little, captured from us. Destroy that and he will be reduced to foraging alone, and cannot live in the face of your superior cavalry force. Knoxville and Cumberland Gap are fortified; the former but imperfectly. Other temporary and slight works are, no doubt, thrown up, of which we have no information. Judge Swan, member of Congress from Knoxville, now with me, is going forward to your headquarters to see the progress, &c. He is thoroughly acquainted with the country and the people. I gave him a note of introduction, and think you will find him very useful.
Very respectfully, general,
HEADQUARTERS, Tyner's Station, November 5, 1863.
General B. BRAGG,
GENERAL: Your letter of to-day is received. I understood you to say a few days ago that the enemy's forces around Knoxville were 15,000. As I had frequently heard you say that you did not count cavalry in estimating forces, I took it to mean 15,000 infantry and artillery. I presume now that you included the entire command in your estimate. That figure will, I presume, come very near covering my own force also. Your letter seems to look to the operations of our cavalry force as likely to drive the enemy from East Tennessee. I do not regard that as at all probable, and shall only count upon the cavalry for such services as will be effective. That is, I do not think that cavalry operations can drive the enemy out of East Tennessee, and I do not, therefore, propose to rely upon it at all for such purposes.
In reviewing your instructions of yesterday it appears that you intend that in driving the enemy out of East Tennessee I must surely keep railroad communication with your forces at Chattanooga. That is, that the latter condition must be fulfilled under all circumstances. My understanding of the move was that I should gain possession of East Tennessee, and, if possible, the army there, as the primary condition, and in doing this as far as practicable keep the communication with Chattanooga open, but to get East Tennessee and to get rid of the enemy's forces there. Please advise me if this is the intention.
If I am to move along the line of the railroad repairing and building bridges, &c., it is not at all probable that I shall even overtake