War of the Rebellion: Serial 056 Page 0759 Chapter XLIII. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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all of your available force, to unite with me, that we may draw all of the force from Chattanooga that we can, and in that way relieve the pressure upon General Bragg. If we can hold here, we must get the army now in Knoxville, whilst General Bragg will probably not give up any country of great importance. When we are through here we can render more material aid. Our forces here must capture the army at Knoxville, or force the enemy to relieve it by a strong detachment from his main force. If he sends a strong detachment, he exposes himself to General Bragg's army; if he sends a small one, he exposes himself to us; that is, if we can once unite our forces.

Please telegraph these views to Richmond, if you have any doubt as to the course that you should pursue.

I am, general, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

J. LONGSTREET,

Lieutenant-General.

HEADQUARTERS, November 29, 1863.

General LEADBETTER:

I have just received a dispatch from General Wheeler for General Bragg, directing that I retire by the Virginia route if I can't join him at Dalton. As he has gone so far, I fear that I cannot rejoin him if the enemy has made his appearance south of the river. I write to General Vaughn to that effect, and that he must join me at this place as soon as practicable if the enemy is in his rear.

Most respectfully,

J. LONGSTREET,

Lieutenant-General.

HEADQUARTERS, Near Knoxville, November 29, 1863.

General VANCE, Near Dandridge:

GENERAL: We are around Knoxville, doing all that we can to distress the enemy's army now occupying the place. I think that the best service you could possibly render would be to unite your forces with ours at once. I hope that your views in this matter may coincide with my own, and that you may determine to join us at once. The enemy has probably discomfited General Bragg somewhat, and I desire to get as strong a force here as possible, that we may in some way relieve him.

I am, general, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

J. LONGSTREET,

Lieutenant-General.

P. S.-If you join us do so by crossing to the north side of Holston River, or, if you cannot cross the river, take position somewhere near Mecklenburg, and let us know of your position. Please advise me of your views, that I may know how to communicate with you.

Respectfully,

J. L.