HEADQUARTERS, November 15, 1863.
GENERAL: Colonel Logan is on the heights opposite the Hotchkiss house, on the road by which the enemy retreated. As you pass along ascertain from Colonel Logan the condition of the enemy in his front, and whether he is still retiring.
HDQRS. DEPT. WESTERN VIRGINIA AND EAST TENNESSEE, Dublin, November 15, 1863.
Major General R. RANSOM, Jr.,
Commanding, &c., Camp near Blountsville, Tennessee:
GENERAL: I have just now received you telegram informing me that you could not go to Bristol to-day. I regret it, as I wish to converse with you by telegraph and ascertain if it is important that I should meet you in Bristol, and, if so, that I might go down by to-day's train.
When I left you last you remember it was my intention to go to Richmond as soon as I heard of the President's return to that place. Events in and about Greenbrier have prevented me from going to Richmond. I propose to go there on Tuesday next and endeavor to obtain additional troops. You and I are of the same opinion, that it would be imprudent to move our small infantry force farther in East Tennessee under the present aspect of affairs there. I do not know what information you have from General Vance, but as you are in communication with him you can judge of the practicability of aiding him.
I wish you would obtain as much information as you can of the movements of the enemy on the road from Knoxville to Cumberland Gap, and especially if it is used by their wagon trains to any extent. If so, it is probable our cavalry might intercept and capture or destroy the trains. The success of the expedition to Rogersville encourages me to hope that an expedition to the road from the gap to Knoxville would be equally successful.
I have directed that Captain Everett, commanding detachments of the First, Second, and Third Kentucky Battalions Cavalry, report to you, and receive you instructions for an attack on the enemy's trains on the Kentucky side of Cumberland Gap. He knows that country well, and is represented to me as a determined man, well suited for the service on which I wish him sent. He does not want more than 200 men, and the detachments he has now and the remnant of Lieutenant-Colonel Prentice's battalion, now near Abingdon, will make up that number. My chief quartermaster will, on your application, supply the necessary funds for the expedition.
I expect to remain but a few days, not more than three or four, and will see you as soon after my return as practicable.
Very respectfully and truly, &c.,