HEADQUARTERS, November 20, 1863-2 p.m.
Maj. Gen. JOSEPH WHEELER,
Commanding Cavalry Corps:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your notes of 10.30 and 10.50 this morning, and am directed to say in reply that you may order, as you suggest, the commanding officer of your pickets to report to Brigadier-General Jenkins, the nearest infantry commander, this being the most convenient arrangement. The commanding general has sent to examine a ford a little below our line, to learn if it be practicable for you to cross here instead of above, and will communicate to you as soon as possible the result of the examination.
I am, general, yours, respectfully,
G. M. SORREL,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Assistant Adjutant-General.
CAMP 9 MILES FROM KINGSTON, November 20, 1863-8 p.m.
General J. LONGSTREET:
GENERAL: By direction of General Wheeler I have assumed the command of the cavalry ordered to Kingston to watch the movement of the Federals. My command consists of the Third Confederate Cavalry, with 260 effective men, and the Twelfth Tennessee battalion of cavalry, with 60 effective men; total 320.
Before my arrival this evening Major Day, by demonstrations against Kingston, ascertained with some certainty that the place is held by two regiments of Federal cavalry or mounted infantry, and the only reliable information that I have received from citizens confirms this, and citizens state in addition that the enemy has two pieces of light artillery. This force appears to have occupied Kingston for some time. I found Major Day within 5 miles of Kingston, but upon the approach of night I found it necessary to fall back to this place to procure forage for my animals.
Is it your desire that I should attack and attempt to drive these Federals across Clinch River?
General Wheeler directs me to report to you four times each day. I suppose it will not be necessary to report any more often than I have something of importance to report.
To-morrow I will not be necessary to report to you four times each day. I suppose it will not be necessary to report any more often than I have something of importance to report.
To-morrow I will endeavor to ascertain positively the strength of the Federals by scouts, and otherwise endeavor to acquaint myself with the country.
My present position enables me to picket very effectually all the roads from Kingston to Knoxville.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. B. LYON,
Colonel Eighth Kentucky Regiment, Commanding Cavalry.
IN THE FRONT, November 20, 1863-10.30 p.m.
GENERAL: Your notes to myself and General Longstreet are received. The firing that you have heard here was caused by a small